Three weeks ago, I hit the Send key on my computer, and away went my latest manuscript to my editor (as well as to my agent). Trust me, sending in a manuscript is a fearful moment for me. I am too aware that I haven’t achieved all that I’d hoped to achieve when I first began writing the story.
My agent and I just celebrated our 27th “anniversary,” and if there is one thing I know about this brilliant woman, it is that she will be brutally honest with me about a book’s strengths and weaknesses. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp.
So you can imagine my joy when I heard from her within a few days that she thinks it “an AMAZING story” and that it was clear that I “put heart and soul into this one.”
Of course, there is still always work to be done at this stage, and my agent had some wonderful suggestions to help me add length and deepen the story.
Just yesterday, I got my feedback from my editor. Her work, of course, took longer because she had to make notes on the manuscript itself and prepare a much more detailed revision letter. So now I’m burrowing in and doing all I can to make this my best one yet.
The book I’m talking about, You’ll Think of Me, will be my 77th release, and the answer to the question in the title of this post is, Yes and No.
I know. Really helpful, huh? Okay, a few more details.
Yes, some things get easier.
For instance, I have long since learned that around the halfway mark I will begin to panic, certain I don’t have “enough story” left in me. The panic still comes with every book, but because I now know this is a pattern of mine, I am able to talk myself off the ledge rather quickly.
Also, I am more accepting of my personal process of writing a book than I used to be. For a long, long time (years and years), I was certain there had to be an easier or at least a better way than the way I did it. I have since learned that there is no “right way” to write a book. The best way for me to write is the way God designed me to write. That took years for me to discover. I tried lots of new techniques and methods, keeping what worked for me and discarding the rest. But I have found peace in my process now … mostly.
No, some things don’t get easier.
I don’t think I will ever get over feeling insecure about a book until people I trust (editor, agent, writer friends, and eventually readers) begin to tell me they like it. I am a bit like a bouncing ball throughout the process.
I like the story when I begin. Then I don’t like the story because it isn’t coming together the way I want. Eventually I finish and I turn it in, scared to death (see opening paragraphs). Then my agent or editor says she loves it and I like it again. Then, even though the editor says she loves it, she points out the weak spots and I don’t like it again and know I will never be able to deliver what she asks for. Then I turn in what I fear is a totally epic fail of a revised version, and finally the editor says she loves it, and I like it again. Later, I have to read the page proofs; by this time I have read the story so many times there are no surprises left and all I think is that it is as dry as sawdust and I hate it and know that I will always hate it and so will everyone else. Then an early review or an endorsement comes in, and the reviewer/reader loves it. Suddenly, I LOVE the book. In fact, I have always loved the book. It was the easiest thing I ever wrote. I never doubted it for a moment. Ha!
Perhaps I told you too much. LOL! If not, I hope you are looking forward to You’ll Think of Me. It is still a long way from release. Revisions and line edits to go through. Page proofs and more. But eventually it will get here. I’ll keep you informed.
My novella, Heart Rings, that is part of The Story Jar collection of novellas is now available by itself for the Kindle and Kindle app. Only $2.99.
Publishers Weekly said there are some “excruciatingly exquisite moments of parental love.”
So if you haven’t read it yet, this might be a great time to grab a copy.