Feel that breeze? That’s my sigh of…Relief? Satisfaction? Accomplishment?
All of the above.
When I was done, I published a novella I managed to write during my ghostwriting days, and…
I cleaned out the garage, all our closets, and my office. I’m re-reading my old favorite writing books–Stein on Writing, Techniques of the Selling Writer, The Fire in Fiction–in preparation for the next book in my Kiss & Tell series. But I still felt a little aimless and a whole lot conflicted. What did I really want to tackle next?
The answer came while catching up on my favorite blog, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s kriswrites.com, and her Business Musings series. The post titled, “Obsession, Delusion, and Writing,” is worth the read. One of her long ago blog posts provided the nudge I needed to self publish, and this one–right when I was floundering–got me back on track. I enjoy writing, I enjoy learning the craft, and I want to grow as an author, and that means I have to keep writing and learning, and remember the joy. I determine my own success.
So, I’m getting
back at it now that I’ve cleaned my house and cleared the fog from my brain. I’m not in a hurry because I’m going to remember the joy. And the holidays are right around the corner. And my boy’s a senior. And a thousand other reasons. I’m going to remember the joy in all of it. And you should to.
When writing The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes for Chris and Terry Norton, I’d lined up an editor who was instrumental in getting the book off the ground. She offered advice, made professional connections that were invaluable, and even prayed for me and the book. When she had to back out of the project for personal reasons, I panicked. Where on earth was I going to find another editor who would understand and be as passionate about the project as the original editor?
After much searching (and again thanks to my former editor) I submitted the project to a service that connects authors with editors by having the editors bid on and do sample edits of the project. And, boy, was that an illuminating exercise!
As the bids came in and I received the sample edits, two things became very clear: editors and editing styles are very different, and I didn’t want a cursory glance at the manuscript, but a critical analysis.
It would have been very easy to select the cheapest bid where every couple of pages I’d get a grammar correction or two and feel really good about myself and my ability. But I knew better. I’d never written in this genre before, the story needed tightening, and I generally stink at grammar.
In the long run, my choice was easy. Of all the bids I received, one had so many track changes comments, deletions, suggestions, and explanations, that I knew I’d found my editor. The story is stronger for her time and talents, and she led me to a final proofreader who went over the manuscript with a fine tooth comb and made the story that much better.
My point in telling you this is that sometimes the easy way isn’t always the best. If I want to pay someone to tell me how great I am, I can give money to my kids and at least expect something in return (a smile, a hug, and generally good behavior for a few days). When my name is on the cover, I want what’s inside to be the best it can be. Getting from finished draft to polished manuscript requires the expertise of others and the humility to do what’s best for the project.
What about you writers out there? Do you enjoy a thorough edit like I do? Let me know your thoughts.
On Friday’s blog, Tracy segued perfectly into today’s post about Chris Norton, who, along with his dad, Terry, are the subject of the upcoming release, The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes. I’ve spent the last year + working on this book with Chris and Terry, and let me tell you, it’s been one of the greatest joys of my life. Background on my involvement with this story can be found here.
Chris graduated from college last weekend, walking across the stage to accept his diploma with the help of his fiancé, Emily Summers. Word of his accomplishment grew quickly from local coverage to national and international news. The highlight of the week was a whirlwind trip to New York City for a morning appearance on Good Morning America.
The book is nearing completion and will be available around the time college football stadiums come alive with fans. The coverage was so unbelievable, so unexpected, and so deserved, I couldn’t wait to share.
Take it from me, the next time God taps you on the shoulder and sends you in a direction you never expected to take, do yourself a favor and follow along. You won’t believe the ride!
I love irony. The best thing about an ironic situation is the way it sneaks up on you. This Holiday season, for example, I thought it would be a good time of year to have elective surgery. That sounds like plastic surgery, but no. That’s a slippery slope I’m too chicken to attempt. I had foot surgery to repair the torn ligament in my right foot. I’d spent eight weeks earlier in the year wearing a boot to try and get the darn thing to heal on its own, but it never did. So…
We’d met our deductible, the kids were almost out of school (which meant another driver was available), and my husband would be around considering he hadn’t scheduled any travel due to his recent knee surgery. And really, there would never be a good time to be unable to drive for two weeks.
The surgery went well, I was numb for two days so I thought I’d have an easy recovery, and then WHAM! Suddenly my foot had a pulse of its own and I was in pain. My husband’s supposedly light work schedule had him running from one meeting to another, and as soon as finals were over, my son came down with some feverish virus. In a nutshell, we were a hot mess.
As I sat on the couch, working on the book about Chris Norton who lives his life in a wheelchair, the irony of the situation smacked me in the face. I’m totally blessed because my situation is temporary. I’m going to fine soon, my son will get better, and my husband won’t leave me because I’m a little bossy, impatient, and needy for a few days (right, honey?)
So I’m done whining. And if I’m a little bored sitting on the couch watching mindless TV (or endless episodes of yet another Alaska show on the Discovery channel thanks to the hubs who leaves the remote suspiciously out of reach), I’m going to suck it up and remember the reason for the season and how truly blessed I am. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all from the very blessed (if not a little irritable) Hayes Family! May your season be merry and bright 😉