I’m pretty sure I’ve said the words “finished” and “edits” in the same sentence a dozen times in the last three months. Books are like that.
You think you’re done, and then you sleep on it. Your agent sleeps on it. And then you decide Chapter Six really could be a little smoother, punchier, faster, something. And so you polish and sand and hack and curse and cry until you’ve made it — you hope — better. And if you’re me, once you’ve done that, you really, really must read the whole thing again beginning to end just to make sure the new whole reads as it should. The last thing you want is for the seams to show. You think you’re done, and then… But this time! This time I think it’s true. I think I’ve done all I can do for now. Seriously, someone take this thing away from me.
Of course, now comes the really hard part. The time in between books when I’m scribbling thoughts on scraps of paper, not really working on anything yet, not sure what will come next, trying and failing to be patient with my subconscious. I catch up on paperwork and see friends I’ve neglected. I clean out closets and write here. (Sorry, guys.) I start thinking about taking up new hobbies I won’t actually do. (Maybe I should learn backcountry camping.) I let the well fill back up again.
Patience, patience, patience.