Several weeks ago, I had a dream. I was at some sort of function with lots of people milling around, holding drinks, plenty of chatter. I was speaking to a very professional-looking lady, quite polished. I was explaining to her my dilemma — I wanted, no, I NEEDED someone to read my manuscript and help me edit it. She looked me straight in the eye and said firmly ‘YOU be your own editor.’
These words keep coming back to haunt me. It’s not that I don’t want others to read my manuscript; I have a great CP who makes wonderful suggestions…and I would love to find more beta readers (hint, hint). But the bulk of the polishing needs to come from ME!
So I have taken to heart the admonitions to ‘read your work out loud’ and ‘cut out as many unnecessary words as possible.’ I’ve even gone so far as to break out each chapter, reading each one over and over to try find as many errors as possible.
I keep thinking about that query letter I need to revise, but how can I work on that when I’m still editing my manuscript? And how do I start writing anything new when I’m still trying to polish up the first book? AARRGHHH….
Still, I sludge forward….what the heck is wrong with me? Shouldn’t I give up about now? Shouldn’t I throw in the towel and proclaim ‘this is WAY too much work; I’m going for a swim.’ In the past, I probably would have. But I’m possessed. This writing bug has infected me. I’m compelled to finish….really finish…at least ONE book. Who knows if it will be published or not. For now I have to just go with my heart and complete this one thing. So at least when it’s all said and done, I can look at myself and say ‘You didn’t give up; you didn’t quit. Good job, Jan.’ That in itself will offer at least a modicum of satisfaction.
Now, quit rambling, and go edit that next chapter.