Thursday, August 1, 2019

My Editing Prayer

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

If there is one part of the publication process that I have the most mixed feelings about, it would have to be editing.

Please note that I said editing—not to be confused with editors—my editors are amazing and I’m extremely thankful for them!

But as someone who thrives on words of affirmation, who has a deep (and wide) streak of perfectionism, and who avoids conflict at all costs, well, you can imagine how fraught with peril the editing process can be!

I work for months on a project. I make it the best it can be. And then I hand it over to someone who I know for a fact will not only see all my errors, but will then point them out and put me in a position to either accept their suggestions, or in some cases, defend my words. 

It’s the most ridiculously awful combination of all the things I struggle with most. 

So, you might be wondering how I can say my feelings are mixed when from what I’ve written above, it sounds like they are decidedly negative.

It turns out, if I can ever get over my own issues, that I do love the editing process.I love having someone take my words and make them better. I don’t want to publish a book riddled with mistakes. I want it to go out into the world and bring glory to God, and my editors help me do that, better than anyone else.

Last winter, before I opened the file with the edits for what will be my fifth published novel, One Final Breath, I wrote this prayer. I wanted to share it with The Write Conversation family in the hope that if you, like me, struggle with the editorial process, this will help you reframe the experience in a positive way. 

Good Morning, Father.

It’s me. 
I’m dreading this.
Dreading opening the file and seeing all the places I got it wrong. All the places my meaning was murky and my words were misunderstood. 
I’m dreading the hours of work ahead. The rewording, rearranging, and rewriting. 

I’m dreading having my mistakes pointed out to me—over and over and over again.

Deep in my core, I want perfection. 
In some ways, I know it’s because that’s what I was created for. A perfect world where every day began—and ended—with no mistakes in it.
But the same sin that ended that perfect place also corrupted my desires. 
Now, my perfectionism is more about control. More about saving face. More about longing to be impressive. More about the desire to be praised than about the desire to put something into the world that will draw others to praise You. 

Father, pry my fingers from my words. Open my hands and my heart to the beauty that is waiting on the other side of this journey. Open my mind and my will to make changes that will better convey the story You gave me, the story that You want told. 

Jesus, thank you for dying and rescuing me from my own tiny world where I want to reign and rule. Thank you for living now and interceding on my behalf, even when I regularly try to take the throne away and sit on it myself. As I dive into this story, would you, the Word made flesh, fill my mind with the words that will best draw readers closer to You?

Spirit, I long for a fresh breath of Your creative power. I need You to give me the desire to do this work with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And when I falter, to remind me that all things are possible through You.

I’m so thankful that You’ve already gone before me into this day, into this story, into the future where readers will someday join me on this journey. You’ve proven yourself faithful—time and time again—as I wrote this story. Why would I doubt that You will be faithful as I finish it? Please help me see this part of the process, not as a painful necessity, but as a glorious opportunity to make every chapter, scene, paragraph, and word, matter for eternity. 

To You, the Author and Finisher, be the glory.


Lynn H. Blackburn loves writing suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy—but her grown-up reality is that she's a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters and loves putting them into all kinds of terrifying situations—while she's sitting at home safe and sound in her pajamas! 

Her Dive Team Investigations series kicked off in 2018 with Beneath the Surface and In Too Deep (A SIBA Okra pick and Selah Award Finalist). The 3rd book in the series, One Final Breath, releases in September 2019. She is also the author of Hidden Legacyand Covert Justice,which won the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel and the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense. Lynn lives in South Carolina with her true love and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after at and on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.


  1. A prayer said with such humility and faith will definitely get answered.
    Thanks, Lynn, for sharing this with us.

  2. I love this prayer Ms. Lynn. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us ma'am. Encouragement is such a precious gift. God's blessings ma'am.

  3. I deeply resonate with this prayer. Thank you for sharing it. I will be looking at it often.

  4. "I’m so thankful that You’ve already gone before me into this day, into this story," is a nugget and prayer to hang on to. For that and other gems in this post, thank you.

  5. So true, Lynn. I struggle with perfectionism, too, and try to make my ms perfect before send it to crit partners or editors only for them to find things I shoudl've seen myself! Wonderful prayer--I think I'll steal it!

  6. "Father, pry my fingers from my words" is sharper than a double-edged sword. Thank you, I needed to read this.