Collected Wisps of Thought

{January 30, 2007}   Holding My Breath

I just sent my next book off to copyediting.

That sounds so simple right? You finish editing and it’s nearly time to go to press, so off your book goes to the copyeditor who can put that last polish on your grammar. It should be a time for celebration, but today I feel as if I took a deep gulp of air before I hit the “send” key, and I’m still holding it.

Why can’t I let it out?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been working on this book for a long time. So long that when I got up to wipe the words “Eden Revision” off my dry erase To-Do board, they were pretty much permanently stuck there. In fact, this book hasn’t been called Eden for about six months. It’s now called The Garden of Eve, and I almost sent it to copyediting once before, but got a last minute reprieve — an extension on my deadline granted from above. Yet still, time always seemed to be running out on me with this book. Even with the extension I worked six days in a row last week – fifteen hour days during which I never left my house — in order to get everything finished.

At the end of those six days my editor read the revision and said, “I hate to say this, but I honestly can’t see that much that you’ve changed” Contrary to what you might be expecting, I leapt for joy and relief. At this stage of the game, I didn’t want to be making glaring changes. I wanted to be adding the fine touches that a craftsman might use to polish a work of art. The more she noticed them, the less I’d done my job. Totally the opposite from how things work in the beginning of the process. But trust me… I notice them. I know every little word that’s different and why I changed it, and it’s honestly this last round of changes that’s made me happiest with the book.

So now, after all this, the manuscript has finally been sent to copyediting. Part of me wants to pull it back even as I’m relieved that it’s gone. I keep staring at the big glaring space on my To-Do board. It’s not as if there aren’t other things on that list, but I can’t let go of this one yet.

I’m still sitting here holding my breath. 

Okay, it’s a week later. Have you turned blue and passed out yet, or is everything okay now?

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