When I finished the manuscript for Soul Uprising (at the time called The Trust Code), I thought to myself “I’m 90% of the way done with this.”
Let me explain.
No, seriously. The thing is, we all have blind spots. They come in the form of ideas that are clear in our mind so we can’t see that what’s made it onto the page is murky. Stories that are uncomfortable for us to share so we glance off the side of them. Topics that hit a little too close to home so we soft-play the lesson. These are all missed opportunities that we will never catch on our own, but without capturing them, the book may not ever truly sing. That’s where a great editor comes in.
Sara Stibitz is that great editor. Two different people I trust recommended Sara, and her website is full of amazing tips, so I came in with high expectations. They were blown out of the water. She immediately impressed me by identifying the weak spots in the book that, deep down, I knew were there but didn’t know how to fix. Her collaborative approach is like a team problem-solving project. I always felt that she had the best interests of the book at heart, and she gently pushed me past my own self-imposed limitations to get the best final product possible.
One of the most crucial moments came in our second video call. At that time, the book was called The Trust Code (I am a sucker for a pun and was delighted at the play on words) and I steadfastly maintained that it was all about building trust. Sara was unconvinced. “There are certainly parts that are about trust,” she said, “but I think it’s bigger than that.” She started pushing me to consider what it was truly about.
I pushed back. I didn’t want to have to come up with a new title. I didn’t want to have to reorganize the book. I didn’t want to go bigger. But I meditated and realized that Sara was right. The book was about a larger message of how we approach life and business. That felt scary, so I instinctively wanted to step back and play safe, to package the book in a way I thought would be more readily accepted.
Sara called my bluff, and that’s what a great editor does. In one of her emails she said, “It can feel like you have nothing left, but I promise—you do.” That was exactly what I was feeling in the moment. My resistance came not from believing she was wrong, but from worrying that I couldn’t dig deep once again. It would have been easy for her to avoid that moment, go along with my bullheadedness, and pretend like I was right. Sara didn’t take the easy way out. In her strong and gentle way, she helped me to overcome the block stronger. She repeated this pattern in countless ways throughout the process.
In the final draft we are about to send to publishing, I don’t think there’s a single word that’s in the same place it started. You might think that would make me feel as though I’ve lost control, that it’s not my manuscript anymore—yet it feels more like mine than ever before. Sara helped me to straighten out the kinks and hone in on the important message so that Soul Uprising could be exactly what I wanted it to be. From the bottom of my heart, Sara, thank you.
To learn more about Sara’s work, you can visit her website at https://sarastibitz.com/ . PS – If you are considering writing a book, I highly recommend signing up for her emails. They are full of great tips!
You can read the testimonial on Erin’s website here: https://www.erinrollenhagen.com/articles/2019/6/20/a-book-is-born-sara-stibitz