I finished the 17,0357th draft of my science fiction manuscript last October. I’d changed the story so much through previous drafts that I needed another pair of eyes to tell me what was working and what wasn’t. I hired a developmental editor to begin work in December and got back a ton of notes in mid-January.
And by “a ton” I mean a 5,000-word document PLUS detailed notes throughout my manuscript PLUS a one-hour phone consultation.
He emailed me to see if two weeks would be enough time for me to turn in my next draft. I made some funny noises when I read that, then replied back, “HOW ABOUT MARCH?!”
It took me no less than one week to find the courage to open his notes. I had to put on my big-girl panties, and even though I don’t drink, I really really REALLY wanted to drink, because damn it, I felt insecure and scared. Because what if the thing that I’d spent the last two years working on wasn’t good enough? And blah blah it takes time to be a good writer blah blah, and blah blah I really shouldn’t take critiques so personally blah blah, but I do.
Well, it’s March 6th, and at exactly 12:31am this morning, I emailed him what I am now officially calling DRAFT TWO. Because all the other drafts I’d done was to get my manuscript to the point where it was good enough for someone else to critique. I know this now.
The editor sends me an email. “Just wait for the line edits. It’s going to be intense.”
And I’m not scared anymore, because I love my story, really fucking love it. There’s so much of me in these words, and while it may have taken a few tries to find the right ones to tell this story, I’m fine with that now. This is an awesome, amazing thing that I’ve accomplished. I think about everything that I’ve gone through to get to this point, and you know what? It was fucking worth it.