The worst part is when they’re right

I’m deep into rewrites on my book, under a May deadline to turn in the first reworked chapters. I turned the manuscript into Houghton-Mifflin in September, before I headed off to Australia for a month (side note: I miss Australia). Then I didn’t get anything back for a long time, which means part of my frustration is that when I get a note like “more examples here” I think “yeah, I could have given you twenty six months ago, when all this stuff was fresh in my head”. And then there’s the notes to myself I didn’t catch when I turned it in, like [Derek: should I move that other chapter here?] and now I’m embarassed when I see the note and feel twice as bad when my editor’s written “yes” next to the note.

Yeah. You work on something that closely for over a year, you start to develop blind spots.

Anyway, most of the criticism I get when I write for the internet is crazy. Like “You’re an idiot for totally ignoring the issue of player service time” when there are three paragraphs in the middle of the article about the implications of player service time. Sometimes, I realize it’s me not being clear, but a lot of the time, I really just want to respond “hey, screw you for skim-reading”.

So, the book revisions. Here’s the problem: there are notations all over. And they’re all right. Some of them I knew were right because I spotted them when I gave the whole thing a fresh read, but a lot of them I recognize immediately as things I should have seen all along. And this is the worst part, the realization that for all the work that went into it, it is still not nearly as good as it is, and that I know how much work it’ll require to be as good as I want it to be.

I feel like I’m doing some huge day-long bike ride, tooling along kind of tired but still cruising, knowing that I’m only a couple hours from being done, and being told that I’m about 45 miles off and I’m going to have to really haul because the finish line’s closing in two hours and change. And they’ve got a map and everything.

All you can do is stand up in the saddle and charge up the next hill.

To meet a spring 2007 date, I need to do some serious sprinting, and I don’t come home with a lot of energy after work these days.