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Edits, edits, and more edits

Every time somebody asks me, “so when are we going to read your published book?” I can’t help but balk. They’re excited, I know, but I find it so hard to explain WHY I have to take so long editing. Their usual next question, “why, is it not good enough yet?” has different meanings, depending on who’s asking. If I know the asker is somebody who’s always trying to put me down, it obviously has negative connotations. But for innocent friends and relatives who know what a perfectionist I am, it’s just what it is — isn’t my book good enough yet?

Everyone close to me knows fully well I don’t settle for less when it comes to my work — writing OR design. I take pride in everything I put out there, and it has to be of my standards during the time of release (my standards get higher every time I learn something new). If I show anyone my work before it had my “sign-off,” chance are, I’d overhaul everything that person has seen or worse, trunk the work altogether.

For this book I’ve been working on, this tendency actually worked to my advantage. I’ve had it read by beta readers, an awesome critique partner, a professional editor, and a kick-ass mentor. Knowing that I’ll edit it after they read, I waited for everyone’s feedback before diving in. That took a while, but it also gave me a much-needed break from the story.

I’m in the middle of the major revision right now, and I’m feeling great about it. For once, I actually am! I didn’t want to trunk the story at all. Their feedback gave me the confidence I needed to believe in my story, but they also showed me how it can be so much better.

Maybe that’s why I don’t feel comfortable showing an unfinished work to people who unconditionally love me. They wouldn’t want to hurt my feelings, and just say it’s good. Thing is, I know it’s not good — yet. This is just me, but I prefer getting compliments on my work when I feel I truly deserve them. I don’t feel right when it’s for a half-baked work.

I’ve been rewriting and editing this manuscript for almost two years now. I haven’t worked on any other book but this. I’m excited to start on the others, but I’d like to see this through. I have to.

As I complete this round of revisions, I can see it’s going to be ready soon. Not “soon” as in a week or two — more like, a couple of months or more. But it’s going to happen this year. I just know it! ?

Filed: On Writing

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Hi there, stranger!

I'm Gail, a Filipina author based in the Philippines. I run a design studio with my husband in the outskirts of Manila, but I also do freelance copywriting and editing on the side. I write historical fantasy and contemporary novels with a dash of magic for middle grade readers. My fiction is represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group.

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