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Monday, February 08, 2010

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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.



Blogger Tena Laing said...

It sounds like you've got it all together, even when it might not feel that way. Priorities are right, and it must like an incredibly exhilarating process to be going through. Wishing you sleep and peace of mind as well as completion.

7:46 PM  
Blogger bluebird of paradise said...

Thanks for sharing the process!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Good for you! You're going about it absolutely the right way - no-one's going to be a harsher critic than you are, so if you're satisfied then that's the battle won.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I seriously can't wait. I've looked for books by Canadian ex-pats in America...and it's like they don't exist. Which boggles my mind because America and Canada are at once the same and mind blowingly different.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Looking forward to it! Best of luck.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not going to say anything, but just wanted you to know I was here, and there too. A writer writes.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Cid said...

Keep at it and one day those late night anxiety attacks will be replaced by dreams of bestseller lists.

6:58 AM  
Blogger 6512 and growing said...

Sounds just about right. Congratulations.

2:16 PM  
Blogger nicole said...

I admire you so.

Hang in there!


2:45 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Bravo. It's good to get to the other side of a 3 am panic with your sanity and soul in tact. Soooo looking forward to your book.

7:11 AM  

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