When the End Is Near

Forgive me if I ramble. This morning I delivered my first revision to my editor. I've never fallen as deeply into writing as I did over the past six weeks. It was intense. I had these sorts of thoughts the few times I stopped to run errands:

"Why is there Christmas stuff everywhere?"

"What's with this cute town? I thought we had an apocalypse."

and, "I miss the world."

I learned a lot through this revision besides that it is Christmas. I found an answer to another question, one I've always wondered:

How do I know when my novel is finished?

I'd never understood how a writer knew it was the right time. To a perfectionist who might also be a wee bit insecure, revising seemed like an endless treadmill. Every step makes your manuscript more sparkly and clean, so why get off? How can you stop fiddling with language? Or playing with scenes and settings and characters? At what point do you say, "I'm done making it better. It's good enough."

Here's what I've learned over the past six weeks: if you work long enough and hard enough, even the most insecure perfectionist (insectionist? perfecurist?) will reach a point where they say, "I've done my best. I need to get off this treadmill."

I'm getting really close to that.

Soon, my manuscript will head to copy edits, then in another few months it will be off to print. I'm amazed that it's possible to reach this goal. I've spent years chasing something I was never even sure I could do. Now I know I can do it. I say that with the hope that if you're also insectionist on the treadmill, you'll know you can get there, too.

Revising is not a treadmill. There is a point where you feel satisfaction and pride and know it's time to shut the machine down and take the walking somewhere else.

Maybe into town. I've heard it's Christmas out there.


Yay for being done with revisions!!! :D
I just started my revisions so it'll still take a bit before I'll be able to send them to my editor...

It's good to know there is a point where it feels done! I can hardly wait until I reach that! Congrats on completing your copyedits! How exciting! Now go out and taste the eggnogg.

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