Pauline Books & Media will release my newest book in November 2009. It’s a small, personal book of meditations that affirms God’s unconditional love for us in the midst of life’s daily challenges. I’ve designed it to serve a dual purpose:
1) As an encouraging introduction to trust in God’s love for believers who have never really allowed God’s unconditional love to permeate their lives
2) As a daily or thematic support for those struggling with difficult situations or a healing journey and who want to build positive self-esteem
Each meditation starts with an ordinary life situation that challenges our image of God and healthy self-esteem, followed by a Scripture passage that speaks directly to this challenge. In the light of the Word of God, the reflection highlights the unhealthy assumptions we tend to make and shows how God continues to love us even in this situation. Every meditation affirms the truth that God’s love for us can become the foundation of our spiritual lives and a positive and healthy self-esteem.
That’s the book in a nutshell. The process of taking the book from its initial draft to (almost-) publication has been surprisingly easy up till now, compared with some of my other books.
Except the title.
I’ve never been good at titles. Early on, I close my eyes and wish a perfect title will “magically” pop into my head. It never does.
It’s not that I don’t have ideas. I come up with dozens (in this case, scores) of “almost” titles. According to PBM’s editorial and marketing departments, I seem to choose titles that are inviting but not clear enough. I’ve been going back and forth about a title with the editor for about six months now, both of us hoping for the perfect solution.
I’ve taken three surveys on the title–some of you probably participated in one. I’ve agonized over it, spending hours of precious writing time trying to come up with the “perfect title.” Choosing titles epitomizes for me the challenge we face as writers daily. We are constantly taking big concepts or insights–the intangible or the impossible to pin down–and “incarnating” them into a few words. In my little book’s case, trying to distill 30,000 words into 5 or 10. This challenge is what I most love and hate about the writing life–it drives me crazy and thrills me…alternately or sometimes even simultaneously.
Two weeks ago, the publisher made a decision and contacted me. After a week-long e-dialogue, I decided to trust their final suggestion. It’s not perfect, but it is a title I can stand behind because it is clear what the book is about, and reflects well what I wrote. And that’s the first principle of communication, right? So now, I can not only share with you the lesson I learned (which is from now on, come up with a clear, appealing title before I even start writing!), but the long-awaited title itself:
See Yourself Through God’s Eyes:
52 Meditations To Grow in Self-Esteem