Ah, the grand life of being an author. Just when I thought I was done with all edits for the second book in my Deadwood Mystery Series and ready to ship it off for formatting, more edits came in from my most nit-picky editor of all. I wish they were just spelling errors, but she did not earn her queen-of-editing crown for catching only my misspellings. The edits are going to require a couple of weeks of tweaking. For a fulltime author, they might take only a couple of days, but with my fulltime job, two kids, a husband who likes to at least see me twice a day, and my other writing obligations, I’m going to have to work hard to get these edits incorporated by month end. By the time I’m finished, it is going to feel like I’ve worked through a graduate-level fiction writing class, and I’d much rather sit in writer kindergarten and play with artsy fonts while daydreaming about which restaurant I’ll go to for celebrating when my name hits the New York Times Bestseller list.
Do we authors ever reach a stage where we finish a book and editors all gather around to oooh and ahhh over it, their red pens nowhere in sight? What would it be like to write The End on the first draft and know it’s so good that you won’t need to look at it again until you’re signing your name in the printed version for Oprah’s own private collection?
Back to reality. I have some tweaking to do, and I need to figure out how to walk the fine line between not enough and too much. I have to find a way to step back from the story and see it with new eyes. I have to figure out how to polish it without over-polishing and removing the freshness from my “voice.” Right now, saving the Earth from an incoming asteroid sounds easier.
I’ll start with a glass of wine, some silence, and a pinch of faith in myself. By the time I finish the bottle of wine, I should be good and ready. 😉
How do you deal with revisions from your toughest editors?
· Stomp and throw things?
· Tell him or her that they are wrong and just don’t understand your writing?
· Listen quietly as they explain what’s wrong with your book, while suffering internally from what feels like a battering ram slamming into your stomach repeatedly?
· Call your author buddies and complain about how hard this writing gig is?
· Smile, nod, and tell yourself this is all going to make you a better writer in the end?
· None of the above?
Thanks for letting me groan a little. Now where is that bottle of wine?