The Post-Publication Blues (Again): Same Song, Different Key

A friend of mine is excited about the giveaway for Remember Lot’s Wife and Other Unnamed Women of the Bible. “What a great idea!” she says.

I love her enthusiasm, but frankly, it also makes me uneasy. What if she doesn’t like the book after all? And why am I highlighting an out-of-print book anyway, when both the world and I have changed since it was first released? For me, it’s The Post-Publication Blues again, only in a slightly different key. // by fotographic 1980,
by fotographic 1980,

In my earlier blog post I was thinking about my recently released Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal, and I asked among other things:

  • what if I no longer agree with myself?
  • what if there’s a typo that no one caught before publication?
  • what if I re-read what I’ve written and wish I had done it differently?

Those are some of the questions that can come with publishing any book, or any blog post for that matter.

With Remember Lot’s Wife, each of these things has already happened.

And so what? In the face of other concerns like the latest news out of Egypt, these small concerns scarcely register at all. Yet I still feel like putting a prominent disclaimer on every remaining copy of Remember Lot’s Wife and Other Unnamed Women of the Bible:

  • If I were writing this book today, I’d choose a different title, something shorter and catchier, less cumbersome.
  • I would loosen up the devotional format so the stories weren’t quite so structured.
  • I’d change some of the wording to be less preachy.
  • I’d correct the error on page 97 that says the unnamed Samaritan woman at the well has “an entire chapter devoted to her story” — in fact, her story appears in John 4:1-42, and the chapter continues with the story of Jesus healing the son of a royal official before it ends with verse 54.

So sure, there are things that I would do differently if I were writing Remember Lot’s Wife all over again. My writing has changed over the years and for the better, I hope. But I’m not going to obsess over the past imperfections, and I think the book still has some good things to say in spite of everything. Plus, I do have some extra copies, so I offer them here as one small effort in reading and seeking to understand the biblical text. If you read the book, please do so with kindness and discernment as you would read anything else anyway.

There’s one more unnamed woman still to come in this blog series, so please stay tuned. . . .


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