Well, I got the manuscript back from editing and found 62 pages of text covered with Track Changes bubbles and coloured text. How I could have written something so bad that it had all these errors? First step on the road to gloom. And if you’ve worked with Track Changes you know what a lot of work it can mean to go through the changes one at a time. I had so many to fix; where was I going to find a decent chunk of time to do only that? Second step on the road to gloom. And, of course, I was overwhelmed that week with other work. Third step–ugh.
So I had a little pity party, and when I finally got up the nerve to take a closer look, I realized that a lot of the changes were formatting, which was a huge relief. I didn’t think I’d left that many spelling and grammar mistakes behind! It didn’t change the fact that there was a lot of work to do, but it didn’t make me feel quite so inadequate—just enough to make me dread the work ahead.
I regretfully passed on a Thursday night get-together with some fellow writers so that I could get my marking done and freed Friday morning for the edits. They were extremely fiddly but informative, and I finally slogged my way through all of them. Editing on the screen is not my favourite thing to do, so after the third time through the document, I was finished in more ways than one.
Now I had to send it back to editing. If all was fine, it was going to move on through cover design and text formatting and all the stuff that was going to make it look like a book. I hesitated. I hesitated for three days! Had I really written anything that was any good or was it really just a lot of crap? Then self-doubt and its friends, fear and insecurity, moved in while I wondered what the hell I was doing thinking I could write a book and what made me think I should actually publish the thing.
That was a lousy three days. But finally, I thought about the time and money had had committed to the project—too much to stop now. I thought about the good feedback I’d had when I’d posted chapters from the book on my blog (7 Editing Questions, for example), and realized, at least, some of the book was worthwhile. I had dreamed of writing this book since I wrote the original articles it was based on over 5 years ago. The only way to make the dream come true was to send the manuscript back to iUniverse and just get the thing done.
So that’s what I did. The next time I see my manuscript it’s going to look like a book. My book. My dream book. Can’t wait!