We write. We’re good. We know it. We FEEL it in our work, the emotion, the beauty. Others feel it too. Mom, cousin Amy, that-guy-you-met-on-the-internet-Mike, Colleen at work. They say it made them laugh out loud, cry, want to tell all their friends about our books.
My book was good when I “finished” it. Really. It moved people. They laughed and cried and I knew it had “it.”
And it did. I took advantage of an open submission period at an established small publisher that exactly aligned with my genre and intended audience. The editor emailed the next day and asked for the full. She emailed back the day after that to say she’d finished the whole thing and she loved it, wanted more. Let me send you a contract.
So it WAS good, right? It was effing perfect!
I did get a contract, and I signed it, and the editor acquired my work of genius. And then she sent back the file with her changes and remarks.
With all the red pen marks (so to speak) it looked like something had died a bloody death all over my manuscript. This thing she had LOVED was… well, it was flawed. Here, and there, and everywhere! It wasn’t just commas or a typos, it was big, meta issues. It goes on too long after the climax. What was the point of this scene, exactly, because it sorta sucks? I don’t believe this at all; why would he get mad at this point? Maybe down there, but not up here, no way.
Insert a lot of wine and a few tears.
But, the moral of this story is, we’ve got a “final” now and I can’t believe what it’s become. My “work of genius” is good. It’s beautiful. It needed help, life support at times, but what had the potential to be good became good, maybe great, because of my editor.
How are you going to do this great thing we call publishing? There are so many options now. Big publishers, small publishers, indie publishing. If you want it, it’s there for you in some form. Our books WILL be out there.
But what does that mean for us? Is it about personal glory? Money? Something else? Can we remove our egos from the process in the name of publishing the book we mean to and not just the one we think we have?
Who do you rely on in this crazy-insane-depressing-exciting-life changing thing most people call writing a book?