Last year, I didn't make any New Year's resolutions. Frankly, I was tired of pushing myself so hard, and I thought: hey, how about I just try my best this year? It felt like a gentle enough goal given that I had just started a new job and my first novel was about to be published. While I knew quite a bit about what was ahead (I'd published nonfiction before), I had very little idea about whether the outcome for this book would be good, bad or indifferent, and how I would end up feeling about it all
In the past few years, I've done an enormous amount of editing. I work as a manuscript consultant and help other writers develop their books, and I've (almost completely) rewritten two novels. Here are some of the things I've learned about the editing process:
TOP FALSE ASSUMPTIONS EDITING CLIENTS MAKE
1. An editor will "fix" your manuscript. (An editor can help you fix it.)
The first time you publish a book, it’s a pretty surreal experience. First you wallow deliciously in the dreams and hopes that have built up inside you for years. Eventually, you learn to deal with the inflated expectations that breathless articles about the writing life have created in you. And then, when you make a sale, you have to wade through a lot of conflicting information: reconciling what your publisher promises with the sometimes demoralizing advice you get from other first-time authors (who often just don’t seem quite as happy as you think they should be).
With an eye to ...
By Katrin Schumann
I'm in the throes of writing a new book. My first novel The Forgotten Hours came out last Feburary, and my second one, This Terrible Beauty (which I actually wrote first) is coming out next March. I also have a novel-in-a-drawer... and a bunch of nonfiction books and collaborations.
Stick to a daily word count. Take more writing classes. Write twenty more queries. Yada Yada. What are the writing resolutions that are really important in terms of achieving success and having a reasonably satisfying work life?
Here are ten "rules" I try hard to live by when it comes to my writing. They don't all come naturally, but I strive to remember them, especially when I'm struggling.