goals for the year has to do with how I react to getting feedback on my book. In fact, the actual words I used were, "I'd like to remain thoughtful, objective, gracious, and rational about anything that happens with this book."
It's a lot to ask of myself, really, and I was completely nervous about a month ago as I discussed revisions with Sarah. Anything that happens. I asked myself, "Can I remain objective and rational and even GRACIOUS if she tells me something that sounds impossible?" I was so nervous about getting her notes that I didn't even know if I wanted to get notes at all. Maybe we could just stop here? I could be like, YAY my book is pretty and unique and someone believes in it, the end. Every step forward has so many possibilities, about half of them stinking suspiciously like failure.
But of course I'm not going to let a little panic (I mean apprehension, obviously) get in the way of moving forward as a writer, right? So I read through my manuscript again during the time I knew Sarah was reading it, trying to see it from her perspective, trying to imagine what she was seeing.
And then I got her notes in my inbox (incredibly detailed, amazing notes, btw!). And then my computer died. On the same day. Perfect timing.
At first I thought this was a catastrophe. I mean, I printed out her notes from my work computer and took them home overnight--I hoped at this point that my computer might have a little update issue that might take twenty or thirty minutes to fix. I read through the notes, getting more and more inspired and anxious to dig in. But it turned out my hard drive had failed, and although I had everything backed up (on paper and electronically), I didn't have my computer for the next three weeks.
Objective and rational and gracious. Right. I was freaking out.
Something about me--even though I had been perfectly patient about doing these revisions earlier, and in fact had been fantasizing about never doing them at all, once I had my notes and my ideas and had spent some time on the phone with Sarah...I was ready. And when I'm ready to do something, let me tell you, it gets done. I wanted to work straight through the next week, nailing each change. But the little table where my laptop sits was empty and forlorn. Instead I had a monster binder, stacks of paper, two colors of sticky notes, and a birthday journal, mostly neglected in favor of the keyboard, which translates my thoughts into words so much faster, so much more freely...
Thoughtful. Objective. Rational. Gracious.
I took the cap off my pen. I started making notes. Two weeks later, my mom lent me her laptop so I could translate all my scribblings into the actual manuscript, and now today I'm reading through again. And again.
Someday soon I'll send it back, my fingers crossed, my goal in mind. Maybe it will come back with a new set of notes. Maybe it will go on to the next stage. This timing wasn't what I had hoped for, but revising slowly, gnawing my pen cap between my teeth like the days before I had a computer (yes, I do that)--maybe it was better for me after all. Maybe it really was perfect timing.
Just a little update. I hope to be done for real sometime this week. And then...who knows? My lappy is back with its shiny new hard drive, and I know that once I hit send I'm going to be back to focusing on that goal of mine. And back to first drafting the next one! :)