June 12, 2011

Rearview Mirror

Before I continue blogging about my road to publication, I want to thank Marla Miller for inviting me to guest blog on her site. Marla has a successful presence on the internet and the way she shares it with fellow writers is wonderful.

I always use the analogy of driving in this road to publication, but what should I do when my car stalls? That is where I am right now—with one of my books anyway.

Deep into content edits, a problematic issue came up. It was in the first paragraph and the vein of it continued through the whole chapter. I kept trying to “fix” it, but it was like going around a traffic circle without an exit.

Eventually, I thought of a remedy, and promptly sent it to my publisher. Within moments, my phone rang. My heart shot into overdrive upon hearing her voice.  My first thought was, what have I done wrong?

Other than panicking like a motorist with flashing blue lights in the rearview mirror, I did nothing wrong. My publisher didn’t issue a ticket, but she made it clear that my simple remedy would not work. Frustration set in, and no matter what I said, it came back to the same roadblock.  (Before you ask, not many publishers discuss things over the phones, so don’t expect that. Lucky for me, mine is very involved with her authors.)  After I hung up, I did exactly what she told me not to do—racked my brain for days, refusing to “leave it alone for now.” I thought up all kinds of scenarios, idling in the same spot until I ran out of gas. It was a useless venture. For some unknown reason, I thought edits would go smoothly and quickly. They don’t, so refrain from making the same assumption.  Rest assured, problems will resolve with patience and perseverance. I see that now.

 Remember this while going through the tedious editing process: Listen to the editor, even when you’re tempted to do a u-turn instead of moving on. Learning from my fender bender is invaluable—and really, the only thing I can offer you at this point. That’s the main reason I write this blog. I’m inviting every writer to merge into my lane—letting them in (so to speak) on a few things I’ve learned.

Now, I know I’m not on this road alone because I can see major traffic in the writing world and I’d love to hear from others’ publishing experiences. Please leave a comment and tell me about your writing travels and mishaps. 
My best to you all,
J.M. Powers

1 comment:

  1. I love it when someone lets me merge in! lol

    Great advice, JM. I appreciate you giving insight on the editing process.

    I love this line: (LOL)
    I kept trying to “fix” it, but it was like going around a traffic circle without an exit.

    Hugs, and happy editing (bwahahahha)