So I’m almost done with my third pass on my rogue sci-fi novel and I’m about to send it off to a manuscript editor. Really? An editor? you ask. Aren’t manuscript editors for people who can’t write or for people whose novels have so many problems that they need someone to come in and fix it for them?
Well, I would argue that even if you’re one of those writers who thinks her novel is perfect after your third draft (which I’m not), that novel can still stand a pass from someone whose job it is to evaluate manuscripts. I don’t ever think any of my stuff is perfect. However, I do have a threshold for tinkering with things. I do my long rough draft, my longer make-it-readable draft, and my short-by-comparison, chapter-a-day first reader draft. Then I pass it on an editor. And having seen a lot of good writers in need of stronger editing, I hope to write novels this way until the day I die.
From what I understand a lot of writers wait until they’ve been rejected a bunch before they send their novel into a manuscript editor. But IMO, you might as well do that upfront, that way you know for sure that what you’re sending out is your absolute best effort.
On other notes, you know how a few weeks ago, I was all like, “Meet my new love, THE AWESOME GIRL’S GUIDE TO DATING EXTRAORDINARY MEN?” Well, that was before I actually started the process of writing it and now I’m absolutely terrified of this new novel. I’ve been trying to write the outline since Friday, and every time I sit down to do so, I suddenly become very interested in answering email or commenting on other people’s blogs or clearing out my Google Reader.
I am officially intimidated by this next book, even thought it has a way better chance of selling than my rogue sci-fi novel and even though it’s the one that my agent and publisher actually want to see.
Beginning a rough draft is a little bit like looking down a rabbit hole filled with clawing demons with razor-sharp teeth and then saying, “Oh, well, I’m just going to throw myself down this rabbit hole anyway, b/c once I get past those demons, there might be a really neat adventure on the other side.”
In the end, something my weight loss book said about exercise got me motivated. Basically, the weight loss writer was all like, “You don’t skip changing your kids diaper when you don’t feel like it, you don’t skip paying your mortgage when you don’t feel like. Think about exercise as something you have to do — even when you don’t feel like it.
This goes well with my general philosophy (remixed from The War of Art) that if I’m really afraid to do something, I should just do it anyway.
So I’ve decided to tackle this outline and tackle it no matter what TODAY. Hi-yah!
Seriously, ask me about this outline tomorrow. It will be done-zo. Eye of the em-effin tiger.