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?

Words to live by

6 thoughts on “Words to live by

    • July 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm

      I actually don’t have ANYTHING up there yet…I want to put words of inspiration up there, but I don’t want to mar the wood desk.

      Hey, maybe I should make my screen saver scroll “LET IT GO!!!!” across my monitor…

    • July 27, 2009 at 6:27 pm

      Well, it still could come back one more time. And if I come up with something as I’m working on book 3 that I’d really like to go back and plant in book 1, it’s not too late. So…I don’t know that “done” is really the right word. How about done for now?

      • July 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm

        To Dori From Her Other Editor

        Whoever that Monkey Man editor is, her advice was brilliant. (Yep, Dori, it’s meeeeeee!) I haven’t even read this ms. and I can tell from afar, right through the computer, that you are Done. Go ahead, post that quote on your screen. Then it will be there already for Monkey Man 3 heh, heh. All best!

        • July 29, 2009 at 3:10 pm

          Re: To Dori From Her Other Editor

          HEY! Hi!!!! See, it’s not just you…I am quite capable of driving all of my editors crazy. And you all have the same strategy for dealing with me — EXTREMELY TIGHT DEADLINES!!!!

          BTW, don’t joke about MM3…I replied to 6 e-mails yesterday from kids who were asking about MM3. And I’ve got 3-4 more to reply to…


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