Having been accepted as an intern at TouchPoint Press just weeks before my wedding, I received a double blessing. Not only did I have the opportunity to work at my dream job, a publishing press, but it incorporated my faith. Since the launch of our Faith Imprint last year, I have been vocal about what a blessing it’s been but along with the blessings of being a Christian book editor comes challenges.
IT’S NOT ALL SWEET SMELLING ROSES…
I enjoy collaborating on fiction manuscripts. Being a fiction book editor is working side-by-side with the author to polish their manuscript and make it shine for the bookshelves.
What I’ve found when working with faith manuscripts is that this process of collaboration can become quite tricky. This is the hardest challenge for me as a Christian book editor. I have worked with several authors who want to tell their personal memoirs – the lessons that God has taught them and the stories that He has given to them. How are you supposed to mark up something that is so honest and God-inspired? How do you tell an author who hands you a piece of their heart that you have to mark all over it with a red pen? Very, very carefully.
I have had to learn to do my research on the authors. I need to know their inspiration for writing, where the line between events, their voice, and God’s voice crisscross, and how best to take the personal message that they received and make it applicable for anyone who might read their testimony.
You have to learn to be respectful when handling the author’s stories. I am thankful for even the small role that I play in their stories. It’s a responsibility that you must take seriously, and it really is a calling. It’s not just a part-time job. I can never lose sight of the fact that my role is to make sure that God’s voice is heard through these books, not the editor’s.
Though it may be a tough balancing act when having to make those tough editing choices, but…
BUT IT’S STILL ONE OF THE BIGGEST BLESSINGS IN MY LIFE
Yes, it’s great to work with the editors and designers and authors who have come together to make TouchPoint an amazing place to work and to share life-changing testimonies with our readers. But as long as I’m being honest, I’d like to be a little selfish in my analysis of the biggest blessing that I’ve found in working as a Christian book editor.
Being surrounded by the testimonies of so many strong Christian authors breathes life into my day. As an aspiring writer, connecting with other faith writers and Christian communicators has only increased my desire to reach out and share my own testimony. God’s plans for me didn’t end when I got my English degree or when I got married or when I got this job or when I started writing for Him. He’s moving in my life still. He’s showing me how to include him in my entire life – my work, my free time, my dreams and aspirations, my marriage and my professional relationships – all of it.
That’s what being a Christian editor means to me. It’s one piece of God’s plan for me, but it is an integral one. It has opened up so many possibilities in my life, possibilities to live for Him in ways that I never knew were possible.
THAT’S GREAT, BUT WHAT ABOUT ME?
Before I became a Christian book editor, before I started writing about my faith and my own journey, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to use the talents that God gave me for His glory. I had a deep desire to use my love of books and writing for Him. But I didn’t have the knowledge or the confidence to find where I belonged. But God had a place for me.
After years of struggling with this desire, to finally be in a place where I can work and edit and write and have it all be for Him, and to know that my desires and His are one in my life right now…I don’t even have the words to express what that means to me.
Is there a talent that you have that you wish you could use for God but don’t know how?
Ask for wisdom. God created you with specific talents. He has prepared the time and the place for you to use them. Don’t give up on finding the place that He has prepared for you to use your talents to the utmost for His glory.
Is there an area in your life – work perhaps – where you struggle to find God?
Be honest. Ask God to increase your desire to worship Him and serve Him in every part of your life. Sit down at your desk in the morning (or the equivalent for your work situation) and before you open that first email, say, “Hello!” to God. Say, “I have a busy day ahead of me. I don’t always see you in my work, but maybe that’s because I haven’t been stopping to look for you. I don’t know all you have planned for me. But I know that I need to work my day around your plans and not the other way around.” And then keep your eyes and ears open. The first step for learning to worship Him with every part of our lives is acknowledging His sovereign presence. Let’s make a promise to start there this week and let God do the rest.
And finally, let’s find a new way to serve God where we are this week, whether it’s using your break to spend time with God in His word or making an extra effort to show love to someone else after a hard day. Invite God to fill you up with grace this week and watch your heart overflow with blessings.
Melody Quinn is a recently married ex-English major who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She celebrated her second year wedding anniversary with fellow book nerd Kevin on April 9th, 2018. She graduated from SFASU with a degree in English and Technical Writing and is currently working as an associate editor for TouchPoint Press. Melody is a member of North Baptist Church in Fort Worth. In her free time, she enjoys spending hours reading and writing, trying out new recipes in her kitchen, and playing with her baby guinea pig, Gwen.