Well, I guess I’m done. The revisions could go on forever, of course. If I keep giving it to people to critique, they will keep finding things they think I should change, but I find many of their comments to be personal preferences and not necessary changes to the book. My general rule is that if several people agree on a change and I feel it in my gut, then I should change it. But I ignore many of the other comments. The reason I don’t feel super-fantastic about being done is that I still have doubts about two chapters. The first chapter has a prologue, and I’ve debated over and over about whether to cut the prologue and move it to the middle of the book or keep it where it is. I’ve had different opinions from people about what I should do. Tonight I decided I should cut it and move it, so I started a new draft and did that, and then I decided I liked it the way it was and went back to the old version. In the end, I really don’t know which is better and figure I just have to leave it for now and let an agent and/or editor decide.
Secondly, there is a chapter about 1/3 of the way through that the professional editor I hired didn’t like (not the writing, but the content). I thought about cutting it, but she’s the only one who’s read the book who didn’t like it, so in the end I decided to leave that, too, for now, assuming that an agent and/or editor will have PLENTY more changes for me to make. I don’t feel confident about either of those chapters, but I do feel good about the rest of the book. And I think it’s time to stop tweaking and send it off. If no one’s interested, then I can consider doing further revisions.
This process recently reminded me of when I trained to take the lead test at the climbing gym. I practiced and practiced and practiced on every possible route they might test me on, until I could do them all flawlessly. Someone finally said to me, “You’re more than ready to take the test. Just go take it.” I’d been told numerous times that they NEVER pass you the first time you take it, that you have to do it absolutely perfectly, and even then, they may not pass you. When I took the test, I passed on the first try because I was so overprepared. Lately I’ve been feeling like, “Come on, Meghan. It’s 99% ready to go. Just quit tweaking and send it out. You could go on revising forever.” So I’m done. And my query letter is 95% done, too. Waiting for feedback from my editor before I send it out, but planning to send it to the first agent on Tuesday, and a couple more after that. Then, while I’m biting my nails, I have just three weeks to read and review a book for the Chronicle. And a million other things to do, like get our garage remodeled and prepare the baby room and update my website. And I caught a cold yesterday, so all I want to do it sleep, but I’m happy to finally move on to other things.