Spare Time

I somehow managed to get through the first edit of my book (215, 8-1/2 x 11 pages) in 5 days. How did I pull this off? Well, I am crazy, and I love writing, so there you go. The first edit consisted of going through the manuscript and adding to my editor's suggested changes. Her changes are in red; mine are in blue. There is more blue than red. The next stage will be inputting the changes into the digital manuscript, which I plan on starting tonight. I am looking forward to this process for one reason: I like things to be perfect. And while this manuscript is far from perfect (no delusions here, folks), every little bit helps. I then plan to read through the manuscript two more times (maybe three) before I send it back to my editor.

I have been spending my spare time - what little there is between working full time and editing this book - researching advice for what to do after you get published. Sadly, I have not found much. There are quaint little stories of individuals sending in their novels long ago, and boom, now they are New York Time bestsellers. I want the in-between, the true pains, the reality of being a published author. Because I am sure a lot of them still hold full-time jobs in other professions. And I'm sure a lot of them had to rewrite their books (perhaps several times) even after they were accepted for publication. I just want to know if other people are having the same emotions I'm experiencing, and how they are dealing with them.

My friend N is a PhD candidate (her major has nothing to do with writing), and she said she's been feeling a lot of the same emotions while working on her dissertation. Her advice was that I'm trying to be perfect, and that I won't be - so I have to learn to accept that and move forward. Sound advice from a true friend.

My New Year's resolution is to read more, and glean as much as I can from other people. There are all sorts of minds out there, all kinds of individuals with something real to say. I want to be open to everything I come across, consider the world in new light, and perhaps (hopefully) change for the better.

My challenge to others this year, especially writers, is to blog. To spend a few minutes each day or week sharing themselves with the world. I have visited a lot of writers' web sites over the past week, and it pains me to find a plea to purchase their novel or short story when their last blog post was several months ago. I don't want just a good story - I want a glimpse of the mind behind it.

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