I’ve never been done with a book before. I’ve deleted thousands of first lines. I’ve completed drafts. I’ve even had beta readers wade through a morass of a manuscript that could laughingly be called “ready to read.” (Sorry, folks. Lunch is on me next time you’re in town.) But I’ve never been done done. Finished. Finalized. No more changes. Ready to print.
I have finished the editing process for Rhubarb and sent it on to my formatters. I’ll tell you, it’s a very strange sensation.
The three-and-a-half-month editing process consisted of countless read-throughs by me, and probably half again as many by my long-suffering wife and editor, Julie. She read it out loud to our kids. I read it out loud to myself twice. I listened to it read by the Kindle’s handy text-to-speech function. Julie used her own dictation program to go through it a couple of times. (Very handy for finding missing words and such.) Then after all that, Julie and I spent this past weekend together reading it out loud to each other again as we followed along. (We’re still married, and still speaking to each other, so success!) It’s been honed, polished, and tightened to within an inch of its life.
I expected to wake up this morning with nagging, niggling doubts that I’d missed something important, or with regrets that I hadn’t tweaked that one line or played with that scene a little more. But I didn’t. Naïve? Maybe. Is it perfect? No, but near enough. But am I happy? Very.
In this new world of self-distribution, the reality is that I will never be done with Rhubarb—or any subsequent book. It’s only just begun and I can’t wait.
Stay tuned for important, life-changing announcements…you won’t be disappointed. It’s almost Rhubarb season.