Once upon a time I believed that finishing a novel was an immensely difficult task. I recently proved to myself that that is not the case, and spent a day or two basking in the glow of that revelation. Then the oh-so fun task of editing commenced. Ugh. I hate editing, but am pleased to say that it went better than I anticipated and I finished my first round of edits 5 days ahead of the schedule I had set for myself. It wasn’t until I was done with my edits that I discovered that the truly hard part (as in wanting to tear out your hair and scream to the heavens) of this whole process is handing that beautiful, glorious finished creation, or what I like to call my word baby, over to someone else and let them actually read it.
I know, right? Terrifying!
What if its absolute drivel? What if they don’t like it? What if they do?
These and a dozen other questions are currently running through my brain, slowly driving me crazy… or more crazy than I am already am. Whatever.
I know that Mr. Awesome Sauce is an awesome editor, hence the nickname, and would never be mean or abuse my word baby, and yet every time he begins a sentence with “I was thinking maybe we should tweak…” I feel myself begin to tense as if preparing for a strike. I want to cry “There will be no tweaking! My baby is beautiful and perfect! Thy eyes should burn in the presence of such perfection, and thy body should tremble in abject adoration! Bow down to me mortal, and worship all that is I!” Ahem… yeah, or maybe just “But I like it that way it is.”
I have no doubt that he’d never hurt my word baby, but I still feel like I’m steeling myself for an inevitable spanking. The logical side of me, which granted is usually buried under a dozen layers of craziness and neurosis, understands that I need the assistance of amazing people like Mr. Awesome Sauce and my beta readers, to help my word baby grow into a strong, beautiful novel. Their feedback is not criticism or a personal attack, it is just an opinion that in the end I can chose to ignore if I really want to, though that does kinda defeat the purpose. I’ve got a wicked awesome support group of people who are as excited for the book to be released as I am, and want to see me succeed. They’re happy and excited to be a part of the process, and they’re taking their roles seriously. But still the fear is there, and I’m not sure it ever really goes away.
All I can do is wrap my word baby up tight with my hopes and dreams, and pray that it doesn’t get spanked too hard.