Never-Ending Editing Syndrome Part Two: Publishing Edition

Photo credit: stanjourdan on Flickr
So way back in June 2011 (as in, a month after I started blogging), I wrote this really hyper post on Never-Ending Editing Syndrome, which basically describes that ever-present feeling of never really being done with editing when working on a book. (You can read it if you want, but you’ve been warned—it’s hyper, as many of my 2011 posts were.)

One of you lovely readers happened upon that very old post, and asked about my take on it now, close to five years later with my debut on the way. The question specifically was: “How did you find the NEES when agents and editors tell you to change things?”

As I have, as of this morning, submitted (probably) final edits for Beyond the Red, I figured now was as good a time as any to answer.

I have, at this point, read through Beyond the Red a lot. A LOT. Like, I’m honestly not sure how many editing rounds I’ve done, but I’ve read those words more than I care to think about. A from the first round of edits, I already knew which round I was dreading the most: the final round. Where the edits are in and no more changes can be made.

There’s a safety net in knowing that you can always make changes later if you need to (and for that reason, I never really worried when working on revisions with my agent). Every time I hit “send” with the new round of edits to my editor, I reminded myself it’s okay, I can change something next round if I want to.

Except now I know I probably can’t. Not really. Not with anything significant, at this point anyway.

In a way, reading it over and over again helped, because by the time I got to that final round I was feeling pretty good—like in all likelihood I’d already made the changes I wanted. And I did, and sometimes reminding myself of some of those changes was reassuring, because I knew okay, but I fixed x.

The other part of me knows that once I get the final “no more changes at all” copy from my editor, I probably won’t read it. Partially because I’ve read those words so many freaking times but also because I’m afraid I’ll inevitably find a typo or a word choice I decide I don’t like and I won’t be able to do anything about it. And you know, ignorance is bliss and all that.

At this point, I’m keeping some truths locked away to keep in mind when I inevitably start worrying about not being able to change something:
  1. I wrote and edited to the very best of my ability—and then some. 
  2. A stray typo or eh word choice isn’t going to break the book. Or me. 
  3. I’ll always continue to learn and improve, so I can write and edit better next time around. 
So that’s where I’m at right now. It’s an exciting and nerve-wracking time, but overall, I’m proud of myself and of my book. And in less than two months, I’ll be able to share it with all of you. :)

Do you struggle with never-ending editing syndrome?

Twitter-sized bite:
Author @Ava_Jae talks dealing with Never Ending Editing Syndrome during her debut's the pre-publication days. (Click to tweet)

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