Lyrics were spinning through my head on December 8, when I turned 20 years old. You can’t catch me and make me a man... No sir, we’ll stay young forever!
Four days later I finished the 4th draft of my second novel, Marty’s Kid, and printed it for the first time. Carried it back to my kindergarten classroom (did I tell you I’m teaching kindergarten at an innercity school?), and ‘bound’ it with turquoise duck tape.
The next day I sent it off to the freelance editor I had met at the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference in May. Why the next day? Did I even read through it after I finished? No, I didn’t. I’m the kind of person who could go on editing forever, so I had to force myself to close my eyes and push send.
On the last day of January I got it back from the editor. Meredith Sloan–she did an amazing job! 10 hours of editing time and she trimmed, clarified, stregthened…cut most of my miserable metaphors (magic of omission!), and encouraged me on my way. I was very pleased with her services, and moved forward with another draft based on her suggestions.
Sunday night I finished putting together my proposal for the acquisitions editor of a small Christian publishing house. For nine months I’ve been planning to send my book to this publisher (who expressed interest at the writer’s conference and asked for my proposal). The moment finally comes, with the e-mail proofread and ready to go–and my heart starts pounding and my arms feel weak. I cover my face with my hands.
Four years ago, on an island in Southern China, the 12th floor of an apartment building, in front of a giant bubble window with a view of the ocean, I picked up my pencil and a simple brown cardboard notebook. Heart pounding, I began to write.
Now, as I hover over the send button–my first submission and the beginning of the next chapter in my writing journey–I have to take a breath. Raise my hands above my laptop, and pray a prayer of surrender. It was never mine–this inspiration, this talent, this book. It’s yours God, and what I have done with it, I give back to you. In the weeks and months and decisions to come, your will be done.
And then, with the tap of a button, I let it go.