As has probably been obvious, I’ve struggled quite a bit with this book, with believing in its quality and in my ability to make it happen. Expectations are higher than they were last time. For a start, there are expectations. Last time round I kept everything under my hat until I had something that I knew was good. This time I’ve had people looking at my work almost from the very beginning. (Next time, I’ll put my hat back on and keep things under it.)
I’ve discovered that with every book there comes a point during editing – for me, anyway – where
‘this can’t go out looking like that!’
tips over into
‘good, yes, let’s polish the rough spots and get the thing out of the door!’
It coincides pretty much exactly with the point where I’ve gone through so many edits myself that I can’t see what’s good and what’s bad any more. The point where I know something still needs fixing, but heaven alone knows what it is.
What I know now is that this is the point at which it makes sense to bring in the editing party, because otherwise the poor things get bombarded. There were times this year when they were getting a new draft every month, although I don’t believe any of them tried to read every one of those. Thank goodness.
Anyway, I reached that tipping point a couple of weeks ago. I can’t see what more I can do with this book. I’m hoping that my editors can. If they can, they’ll be getting gin. (If they can’t – they’ll be getting gin.) But I’m beginning to believe that it might actually be OK.