So, it’s March 17. Two months from now will see the release of the first in my novella series, Have a Bite. If you’ve gone through the process of publishing a book, you know that after you send off your manuscript, you go through a wait period, and then boom, everything starts coming at you in the few months prior to publications and it’s a whirlwind.
I’m at that stage right now and I’m going through something that many authors go through: an intense dislike for what I’ve written. This is a direct result of reading something several times in a row, back to back. You start to drown in your own words and you lose perspective. You’re no longer sure that what you’ve written makes sense, flows, or appeals.
You know when you’ve been looking at a word so long that you’re no longer sure that it’s spelled correctly? In fact, you’re pretty sure that it’s spelled incorrectly. It just doesn’t look right to you. But when you look it up, it is correct after all.
That’s kind of how it is when you’ve looked at the same work over and over again—you’re just absolutely sure that it’s wrong. All wrong. The characters are wrong, the dialogue is wrong, the plot is wrong, the descriptions and details are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
But here’s the thing. When you get a chance to step back, your perspective will realign, and you may come to like it again.
So, here’s my plan, and what I suggest for those of you who are, or will be, in the throes of going through edited manuscripts:
- Power through all your edits.
- Close out your files and don’t look at them again for a while.
- Put away any paper files that you may have in a drawer or someplace where you can’t see them.
- Take at least one day to not do anything writing related. (I know, I know. For those of you who are swamped and facing deadlines, this is a difficult thing to do. But if it’s doable for you, take the day. It will do wonders for your mental health.)
- Go get a massage.
- Go have a nice dinner out somewhere.
- Have a celebratory drink (non-alcoholic is okay, but try to make it something special, something you wouldn’t normally have).
Cheers. I’ll see you all on the other side.