Words to live by

I have a hard time letting my manuscripts go. It’s amazing I’ve ever published anything because I just want to revise and revise and revise…

My editors usually have to tell me to STOP revising and turn the manuscript in. NOW.

I’m working really hard on a 3-book chapter series that’s going to come out next spring. I’m 3/4 done with book 2, but had to take a break from that this week to revise book 1 so the publisher can get moving with design. I spent more time on it than I intended to…probably more time than my editor intended for me to, too. But it’s a better book as a result.

I told my editor it would be in today, no matter what. So I told my family last night that I would stay up all night if I had to to get it done. I’m getting too old for all-nighters, so at around 11:20 I decided it was “done.” I even told my husband it was done. He knows me well. He told me to send it off. Now. Otherwise I might be tempted to get up during the night and work on it some more. But I had already sent it in!

One thing that helped was I remembered something another editor said to me when I refused to stop revising Yes, I Know the Monkey Man. She said, “these changes you’re making aren’t better and they aren’t worse than the original. They’re just different.” THAT’S the point a writer needs to stop revising. When the changes he/she is making aren’t any better and they aren’t any worse than the original.

I should post those words above my computer: Is this better? Is it worse? Or is it just different?

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