Am I editing my life or is editing my life?

Okay. That was a trick question because the correct answer is…both.

Last month, instead of jumping into a new writing project, I spent countless hours editing. In fact, in one week’s time, I had my brain immersed in four different stories. First was the opening chapters of my critique partner’s spring release. Then came my own Christmas novella releasing in a few months. Followed by a look at early reader comments about the first installment in the castle series so I knew what changes to make. Then a “test” edit…which just led to a contract as a romance editor for a small press (where I can work my magic on other people’s stories and get paid for it!) Oh, and the following week dropped the line edits for Sing a New Song into my inbox.

Editing. 

It’s a necessary evil…and one I’m learning to embrace. Why? Because that’s when I can truly uncover the potential of a story and polish the prose until it finally lives up to the lovely vision I had when I started putting the idea into words. Whether it’s cutting scenes, adding layers to characterization, or digging deep to find exactly the right word, everything that happens during the editing process serves to make the story stronger and the message resonate with readers. 

It might be hard. It might be uncomfortable. It might be tedious. But the result is oh-so-satisfying when the words being to sing.

Then again, editing applies to life as well as stories. Sometimes it’s good to step back and evaluate the things that clutter my space and the activities that cram my schedule. Cutting the fluff lets the true priorities shine through and makes room for new dreams to grow. That’s why in addition to editing my words, I was also editing my schedule and adapting new routines for the fall.

I’ve also been reading Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson. It’s all about pursuing the dream and has certainly re-ignited my passion for writing more stories. But one section in particular focused on how important it is to “win the day” on my way to bigger things. Because days add up to weeks, to months, and eventually years. 

Some dreams are for the long-haul without immediate results. But if I do what must be done today, then I’m one step closer to the goal instead of falling further behind. Just like daily word counts, step-tracking, and even deciding to bypass the order of French fries, if I can hit those tiny milestones once, they get easier the next time.

And sometimes in order to win the day, I’ve got to edit my life so I have the room and time for the better habit to grow.

What about you? Do you need some editing in your life? What needs to be cut…or added? What would it look like to “win the day” today? Where would that victory lead you?

Editing My Life
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