Monday, January 16, 2017

Altogether Vanity


Altogether Vanity

From Lessons from the Typewriter: A Writer’s Devotional ©
by Catherine Castle

“…Every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Psalms 39:5

Recently I’ve been doing the last revisions of a romantic dramedy (comedic drama) that is set to go out my editor for query. Honestly, I’ve read, and reread, this book so many times I could probably rewrite it from memory. Much to my chagrin, each time I go over it I find some new mistake. A comma in the wrong place, a repeated word (which has suddenly become extremely visible for some inexplicable reason), a plethora of “ly” words, too many pronoun starts, too many repetitive uses of names.  I could go on and on, but I’ll not bore you with the details.

But when it comes to writing I’m a bit of an obsessive perfectionist. I just HAVE to get it RIGHT! The problem is my work will never achieve perfection. Every time I reread my manuscript I will find something to tweak. It’s one of the reasons I never reread a book after it has been published.

I know at some point, as authors, we just have to let the book go. We need to declare the work finished and complete, even if it has a few flaws, otherwise we’d work on it forever and never move forward.

It’s odd how in my writing life, I’m such a perfectionist. Because other areas of my life lack that drive. My bed doesn’t have to be made every day. I’m not obsessive about the dust bunnies that gather under the furniture. My garden has weeds, even though I hate the thought. As much as perfection drives my writing, imperfection steers an even larger part of my life.

Thank goodness God, the author of my life, doesn’t reread me every day, picking at my inadequacies, because I, like my books, will never achieve perfection. I could tweak my life, my thoughts, my actions every second of my life and never become righteousness enough for God’s standards. At some point I have to say, “I’m doing the best I can. God’s grace and Jesus’ sacrifice will have to see me through. Because without those two things, even at my best state I am “altogether vanity.” (Psalms 39:5)




Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award.




  1. I can understand that "perfectionist" attitude. I think a lot of us have it. And we all keep finding things to correct or change in our writing no matter how many times we look it over. We're human. We make mistakes. Even editors do. I'm also grateful that our Lord overlooks the imperfections in our lives and gently tries to correct them. Great interview!

  2. Amen to that! Thanks for dropping by, Sharon

  3. I'm so thankful God over looks all our inadequacies. I know I've strived for perfection but will never achieve it in this life, but we all should be perfect in our heavenly home. Thank you for sharing, Catherine.

    1. You're welcome. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. I understand completely! I also write, rewrite and then rewrite again when I am trying to submit a book review. Thank goodness that God isn't expecting perfection!!
    Thanks for offering me this great devotional!!

  5. My pleasure. Thanks for dropping by.