This last year has been an absolute whirlwind for me. Since pursuing publication, I’ve always been able to create my own schedule. Finding the time to write in between moving houses (more than a few times), babies, ‘real’ work, friends, family, and of course, my DH, was always a challenge-but I didn’t have to answer to anyone.
My first set of revisions for my first Indulgence landed last month-with a loud thud. That thud was the sound of my heart as it dropped to the ground-I had 2 weeks. No big deal, right? Well, I was juggling a few other projects at the time so the thought of jumping back and forth was overwhelming, even though I knew that’s just part of the job. Everyone does it, it’s about time I learned too. Throw in kids getting sick, DH and I getting sick, another set of edits, and two different proposals on the go, I was *slightly* freaking out.But, I sucked it up, held my breath and opened the attachment filled with lots and lots of red, and blue and I think maybe brown. And then I shut it. After a few minutes (and maybe a few panicked emails to Olivia and Jennifer) I opened it again. I forced myself to read the comments and take deep breaths. I did survive...and here's the rundown on what I’ve learned the last month:
1) Revisions aren’t just about what you need to change or where you went ‘wrong.’ They are about deepening the conflict, making motivations clearer, and putting your best work forward. This is it, your last chance to add, delete, or change something before your 'baby' goes out into the world.
2) Don't delete your playlist! I create a playlist for each book I write. This really helped me get right back into the ‘zone’. I wrote this book almost two years ago. It sold last January-but the second I put on the playlist for this book I was transported back and visited with my old friends. It happens to be a Christmas book, so it was even more crucial to get into the Christmas mood right away.
3) Editors actually write some nice comments in the manuscript :-) Since this is such a solitary business, and up until a book releases, it’s very hard to imagine what people will find funny, or touching. Seeing comments in the margin like LOL, YES! or LOVE THIS totally made my day. And at a few points during the revising process when I was totally stumped, I'll admit I went back to those spots in the margins where those comments were, and they gave me the confidence that maybe I did know what the heck I was doing.
4) I loved ALL the revision suggestions my editors gave me. Yup. Every. Single. One. Now, maybe not initially, but they were so good and so true to my characters and my story. I felt like they really 'got' my characters. I know the book is so much stronger-and had it not been for my awesome editors-I don't know that I would have thought to make those changes.
5) There’s a lot less cutting, and a heck of a lot more adding than I would have thought. I was able to write new scenes-and I had so much fun doing it. It’s a lot easier to write a few scenes about characters that I love even more now, than having to write the entire book!
Now I'm off to well, tackle another set of revisions for my January book!
Now that my release is about a month away, I have a new focus for my anxiety-release day and reviews!!! I break out into a cold sweat just thinking about it...Maybe I’ll be back to write a post on that-if I survive ;-)