Out of my Hands

There is nothing even keel or humdrum about this whole “write a book and send it out into the world” thing. It’s thrilling! And it’s terrifying.

Think about it: you write a book. You pour your soul into it. You show it to a trusted few readers who give you lots of encouragement and lots of work to do. So you get back to work, revising, reworking, rethinking.

Then one miraculous day, the book is acquired. Thrilling! And you get your first editorial letter. And then another. Then there are line edits and copy edits, and with each new round, you worry: “What if I can’t get it right?” What if I mess it all up?”

But you do your best, and you trust your story. Then before you know it, it’s time for the first page pass, which just may be the most thrilling and terrifying of all.  Let’s start with the terrifying, just to get it out of the way.

  1. This is your last chance to change anything before the book goes to print.
  2. The ARCs will be made from the same file, so any mistakes in the FPPs will be seen by anyone reviewing the book.
  3. This is your last chance to change anything.

But seeing those pages for the first time is also incredibly thrilling.

See the font they chose? Doesn’t it look … well, parched?

And look, the name of that chapter’s point of view character is at the bottom of each page.

Okay, I did more than just admire the typesetting. I combed through every sentence, hunting for errors and inconsistencies. I write pretty thin, so every little change feels enormous. Like this one, on page 4, line 15 below: the fragment of the word “ing” ends before the indentation of the following paragraph begins. So my editor asked me to add a word. Just one. That should be easy enough, right? 

Well, I wouldn’t say it was easy. But I did it. And as a reward, look what showed up on my doorstep over the weekend!

So that’s it. My job—the writing—is done.

It’s out of my hands. And that is truly thrilling. And truly terrifying.

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7 Comments

Filed under Anxiety, Editing and Revising

7 responses to “Out of my Hands

  1. Squee, your ARCs are here! And I’m pretty sure that I get my paws on one TODAY! I couldn’t be more excited!!

    I’ve definitely been stuck in the first-edit-letter “What if I mess it all up?” stage for a few weeks now, so it’s good to have a reminder that the process will continue…and that I’ll have all sorts of new opportunities to feel that way again in the coming months. 🙂

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  2. ARCs–how exciting! It’s funny how sending off those last proofs are both a relief *and* stressful–you can’t change anything from here on out. Personally, I cannot WAIT to read PARCHED!

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  3. I find the quiet down times harder than the crazy busy times. I guess I’m living proof of the old “busy hands are happy hands” adage. And the old “waiting minds are crazy, doubt-riddled booby traps of self loathing minds.” Or maybe that second one is just me.

    Anyway, your ARC is beautiful, and awesome! soak up the joy of it, and I hope that waiting neurosis doesn’t get you.

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  4. Pingback: What to Expect When You’re Expecting an Editorial Letter | EMU's Debuts

  5. How did I miss this earlier?! I should have booked my flight to Denver to steal your ARCs DAYS ago!

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