The wait is almost over. My editor emailed from D.C. two days ago that barring further delays, she would return my manuscript this evening. I wrote and said – really excited and anxious but mostly terrified! And it’s true. Nothing makes a writer shake in her boots more than an editor’s critiques.
Will she say, “Worthless, throw it in the garbage?” Or “Not bad, but you might want to rethink the entire plot line.” OR “I love it, but here’s about six months’ worth of changes you need to consider.”
The past few weeks I’ve busied myself with nonsensical things to keep from thinking: A jigsaw puzzle – a Chihuly reproduction I bought as a souvenir at the Oklahoma City Art Museum during a recent visit. A 4th of July wood craft for my breakfast table. Hey, it’s something I’ll use, turned out pretty cute, kept me busy for a few hours. Add to that Netflix – entire seasons of Bosch and Grace & Frankie. This weekend – binge watching The Handmaiden’s Tale. I also took two classes on organizing and saving digital photos and drove to the Copper Art Museum in Clarkdale, AZ. Excellent by the way.
So tonight. She’s on the east coast so perhaps by 3:00. I’ll read her first page of overall thoughts and perhaps put off the details until tomorrow. Or I may just dive right in and depress myself all at once. I know I sound negative. All authors do the same. We’re hypercritical. We know it isn’t the best it can be when we send it off for edits. We also hope and pray that it’s worth spending the next two-three months living again in a story that isn’t our own. Deleting sentences we love, finding better descriptors, changing dialogue that doesn’t “push the story forward.” I know all the lingo after spending the past seven years as a writer. My skin has thickened and critique arrows can’t pierce my flesh. There will even be a few suggested changes that I will kindly decline to make.
This is not my first rodeo – this is my fourth book. Hopefully this is the best book ever. Hopefully I captured my protagonist. Hopefully readers can’t put it down. Hopefully it will get rave reviews. In the meantime, I head into another revision. I’ll come up for air sometime around August. See you then.