My Manuscript Is Back So I Cleaned My Closet

My book manuscript came back from my editor with first edits. First edits are the big ones. It's when you see lots of questions, mistakes, omissions and errors. An editor will ask for clarification, additonal research and general - is this what you mean?

I hate first edits. I am sure I will open the document and it will be a sea of red and end with the phrase - you have no ideas what you're talking about.

This is my third book, so I'm a little less neurotic than I used to be, but it is still unnerving. It's also an important and inescapable step in writing a book, the moment after someone else (who doesn;t love you) reads your words and judges them.

My edited manuscript landed in my mailbox around noon. I walked around my house for 30 minutes before I even opend the email, just pacing. I opened it and read my editor's note, she was kind and complimentary, but that's their job, right? I closed my laptop and made a cup of tea. I tried not to notice my husband trying not laugh.

I sat down and opened the doc. There were notes. I scrolled through. There were lots of notes. I didn't drink my tea.

I got up and cleaned my hall closet. I straightened shoes and restacked bags. I had to put something in order that I had 100% control over.

I sat back down and read every single note and query. I didn't die. I didn't even get my feelings hurt. Sure there's a more than a bit of work to do, but I did make mistakes and have some hilarious omissions. Mostly the notes were about seeking clarity in my techniques and observations.

Did I dig in and start my edits right then? Nope. But the next morning (and every morning since) I was there bright and early, writing. I can't wait to see this book.