Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer & Editing

Brace off my leg completely–Check
Book signing at NEORWA conference–Check
Clean house in anticipation of family visit next week–Well, not yet

I'm taking things one cautious step at a time these days, since I have a busy June coming up, and then the RWA conference in July. And it just occurred to me how much of life is like editing a manuscript.

Come on, Becky, I hear you saying. Isn't that a bit of a stretch, even for you?

Well, I'm here to say "It makes perfect sense to me." Let me explain:

When I first started lining up events for this summer, it was overwhelming to me. I'm sure, if you've been following the blog for some time, you've picked up on my panic. But I like panic. It's my go-to response to everything. Once I get through the panic mode, I can then start to sort things out, put things into an orderly format–a check list, as it were–and begin to make sense of it all by knocking off one item at a time.

The same holds true of editing a manuscript. I look forward to getting the first round edits back from my publisher. But when I open the file, and see all the comments and things I need to think about and change, panic overwhelms me. I usually close the file quickly, wait for my racing heart to calm down, and those nagging "why did I ever think I could put two sentences together into a story someone would want to read" doubts to dissipate. When I get back to it, an hour or a day later, I take a deep breath, and go through the manuscript and suggested changes one item at a time and wonder why I ever doubted myself in the first place.

So I'm applying the same thought process to my summer. I'll knock one thing at a time off the list and realize as I do so that everything I'm doing is making my memories of friends, family and adventure that much better. After the family visit, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail beckons, followed closely by the Tennessee Whisky Trail, all in the name of research for another book, of course.

So be sure to put returning to my blog on your own check list.


  1. Adorable post, Becky! I have that exact same reaction: "why did I ever think I could put two sentences together into a story someone would want to read", every time I get my edits back. It takes me a whole day to get over that feeling and reopen the document. This summer, my entire family is coming to my home for our yearly family reunion. Somewhere in that madness, I have a book to finish. My check list is a mile long.But like you, one day at a time, one check at a time--and a mountain of wonderful memories.

    1. Thanks, Nancy. I talked to a RITA finalist yesterday who told me when she got the call from RWA, she thought they'd made a mistake and would call her back later with an apology. She waited two days before she told anyone. So I guess the self-doubt never goes away entirely.

  2. Hi Becky, I'm releasing two novels this summer - I think I'll be in state of overwhelm for the next three months. But as both you and Nancy advise, one day at a time, one check at a time... Joanne :)

  3. That's right, Joanne. If you think about everything you have to do, it's overwhelming, but one check at a time gets it done. Good luck with your releases.