Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Another Reason Not to Start The Egypt Book

So I thought I was finally, finally ready to start writing the Egypt book. Not today--today I have this brief morning interlude between seeing my daughter off to school and going to yoga, and from there I proceed directly to Faith In Action (my yoga studios has a shower, thank the Lord) and then it's barn chores and book club and the Survivor finale. This, right here, is my writing for Wednesday.

However, I was ready to go at it with gusto tomorrow. Mentally ready, physically ready, ready, ready, ready--or not, as the case turns out to be. Yesterday, a day spent mostly in budget meetings for Faith in Action and body-clipping my mare, two things of relatively equal enjoyment, I flipped open my email and very nearly missed it--a note from my editor, tra la, I've been getting a lot of little emails from her lately, mostly telling me things I already know, such as that The War That Saved My Life was in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday. (My friend Nancy called me to tell me that on Saturday at 8 am. My mother called to tell me at 8:30. My editor didn't tell me until yesterday morning.) (It's not a humble brag: it's a full-on brag. I was in the Wall Street Journal!!)

Yesterday afternoon's email was a big email. It was a don't-even-think-you're-finished-with-the-book-you-sent-in-before-Thanksgiving email. A we'd-like-the-next-draft-before-February email, a here-are-the-things-you're-doing-wrong-now email.

A whole nother draft. I'd really thought hoped we were headed for copyediting after the last one. I mean, sure, I added a whole new section of plot, and yes, that does usually take awhile to settle, but I'm a good writer, right? I can do it the first time, right?

Wrong. Writers almost never get it right the first time. I hate this like heck, but my feelings don't alter its essential truth. Probably this is why I get SO ANNOYED every time an acquaintance asks me, "Are you still writing?" Of COURSE I am still writing. I am ALWAYS still writing. Partially because writing is my job, not some funky little hobby, and partially because the books are. Never. Done.

This is also, by the way, the best argument in the world against self-publishing. Left strictly to my own devices, I wouldn't push myself nearly this hard. I'd settle for less than my absolute best. Fortunately, my talented and forcible editor never lets me. So. Back to work, yes, but not to Egypt yet.

P.S. Has anyone ever asked my husband if he was, "Still performing surgery?" No. No they have not. (Though I may pay someone to do it sometime, just to see the look on his face.)