Saturday, June 30, 2007

Revisions Make it Better

I'm posting a little late because I promised myself I would not do anything else until I hit the send button on one of my manuscripts. Now that it's off, I can't help but wonder if I caught everything. Should I have changed this, or changed that? Was it ready? Am I ready?

This is a manuscript that I've rewritten several times and probably revised at least twenty times. I've lost count at how many times I thought it was finished. I planned to read through it one more time. It was supposed to be a quick read-through. Ever had one of those that turned out to be a week or longer? I kept noticing little phrases that could be reworded or written a bit tighter. My frustration mounted and I finally prayed about it.

"Lord, why didn't I see these things a year ago when I revised it then?" His answer pleased me, and let me know that He's been working on answering my prayers. I've been praying to be a better writer. He said, "Because that is the difference in what you knew then and what you know now."

Will I ever know enough? How much revising, rewording, rewriting will I need to do before I get the call? Even after that, I'm hearing about published authors receiving revision letters and editing galleys. As I read through my manuscript, I could tell that previous revisions made it much better.

The other day I was reading Cara Putnam's blog and she said something that stayed with me. She received her first revision letter. And this is what she said, she had made that manuscript the best she could make it, but her editor was helping her make it better.

Last year I made that manuscript the best I could make it. Over the year my writing skills improved, therefore, this year I could make it better. Eventually, an editor will make it better. I like to be realistic. Now when I think about receiving that first call to publication, I know in the back of my mind to expect more revisions.


  1. Jenn,
    Congrats for hitting the "send" button.
    And I know what you mean about revising. I could revise forever, I guess, but there does come a time when you've got to let it go.
    I know you've prayed and done God's work.
    And I'm sure he's well pleased.

    I'll be praying.

  2. Jenn,
    What made me say "WOW" is the fact you've revised this ms about 20 times. The fact that you stuck with it is wonderful. It seems we can always go back and change this or that, isn't it?

    Don't look back, girl.

    Glad you hit send, too.

    I'll remember you in my prayers.