Visions and Revisions
Late with manuscript revisions, and almost every night I awake in a panic attack, convinced that the next morning will bring word from my agent and/or editor: "Know what? Never mind." Instead, they've been nothing but patient and supportive, though we are all eager to be finished, and none so desperately as me. Like a mirage, I always think the end is closer than it is, but I'm closing in.
Some days it's great, and others it's like trying to walk a stubborn 80-pound Lab, who keeps wanting to stop and roll around in something dead. In other words, I'm not entirely in control of the process. As I neared the end of the first draft, back in November, I realized I was trying to tell two stories at the same time, with two distinctly different themes and tones. My editor concurred. Making the necessary revisions was like separating conjoined twins. Not easy for this Mama to do. I don't know if the thousands of words I cut out will develop into something else down the road, but I do know that the surviving story is much livelier now, and more fun for me.
Some people find enlightenment in exotic places; I seem to find it at cub scout meetings. "Do Your Best" is a powerful insurance policy against 3 a.m. panic attacks. As I've printed off each revised chapter, I've felt the satisfaction of knowing those pages are the best I can make them (at least until my editor shows me where I can make them better). It's powerful, because so much worse than the fear of blowing it by not being on time, or not selling books, or getting bad reviews, is the fear of putting something half-assed out there. I feel like I can face every other worst-case scenario as long as I know I did my best.
I hope to be able to give you a publication date very soon. Thanks for checking in.
Labels: the writing life