Thursday, April 28, 2016

Done, Again.

One of the things I've learned along the way of writing a book is that there are multiple layers of "Done".

Done with the rough draft.

Done with submission to an editor.

Done reworking the manuscript after the editor returns it (with thousands of remarks and corrections, I might add).

Done with my edits on top of her edits.

Done submitting to her another round of edits.

Done editing on her edits again. Done, done, done, done.

Sometimes it has truly felt never-ending. This process takes months, if not years. As is my case, I started writing in October 2013, and here it is April 2016 and I've just submitted the final manuscript to the agent today, the one who is managing this process for me.

So that's another "Done".

From here, the manuscript goes to a technical proofreader and then I'll get it back to go through those edits. That shouldn't be too hard as it's a matter of accepting all her additions or deletions of commas, semi-colons, other punctuation and spelling errors. But I won't do any more editing of the text. It's as good as it's going to get. I remember reading something that Anne Lamott once said about edits - that at some point you ... just. have. to. stop.

That day came today for me. The book itself, for all my purposes, is done. And you know what? I feel good about it!

Today I received a letter I wrote to myself a year ago, sent through the Future Me website that I like to use. In the letter I said,

"I've done a number of hard things...

Birthing three precious kids...

Moving to a foreign country and learning to live there

Training for and running a half marathon...

And thousands of other things.

But today I've come to the point where I'm not sure I can do this one thing: edit this book to my own satisfaction.

I read something today that JK Rowling said...she said she couldn't stand book 3 of Harry Potter by the time she was finished. Well, that's how I feel about my book right now...and it's NOT finished. I'm tired of it. I don't like it. I don't know how to make it better."

A year ago I was completely stuck on the editing process, which is why it's taken so long to finish. The book didn't feel right and I didn't like it. So I put in on a shelf (well, not literally...just had it sitting on my computer) and let it be for many months.

After a lot of prayer and thought, I began to edit and re-write, multiple times over, last month. Thankfully, I can now say that I like it. It just took a l-o-n-n-n-n-n-g time to get here.

I'm thankful to have had these days in our beloved little village of Svete Nedjelja on Hvar to finish (to this point anyway!) a project that's been on my heart for so long. We're heading home tomorrow. I'm got done just in time!

When will this book be in print? Hopefully this summer!


  1. Yay yay! I can't wait to hold the book in my hands!

  2. You know I'm celebrating with you BIG TIME! Yay you and yay God!!!!

  3. Well done you! Seeing this process to the finish. And to multiple layers of finished! I'm so proud of you! I keep thinking of something dad said to me once," Sometimes something worth doing is worth doing poorly!" In this case you aren't doing it poorly at all!! But often it does seem like there is always something that could have been better or something more you could have done. As you said, you just have to stop. Beautifully written and beautifully lived dear sister!

  4. What a great milestone. I'm so proud of your hard work and perseverance. I look forward to savoring each word when I read it...hopefully this summer! I'd cook you a good meal & have a long sauna to celebrate this wonderful achievement. Yippee!