I just pushed “send” and e-mailed the second draft of my book, Seeking Shama, to my editor. Those of you who follow my Seeking Shama Facebook page know that Yoda and I drove across country in Princess Leia the Prius the last week in July so that I could work from my parents’ lake house in Wisconsin for the month of August. It has been a way to both escape the Austin heat and to spend time with my family. It also happens to be a slice of simple rural paradise here – a perfect place for a writer’s retreat. My goal has been to finish editing the second draft of my book this month before returning to Austin. I’ve met my goal, with a week to spare.
When I sent the first draft of my book to my editor last year, I had no idea how much work still lay ahead of me. I’ve spent months turning that initial draft inside out and on its head. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard at something in my life. This version is a complete and total overhaul of the first version. I’ve changed so much that I almost feel as if I’ve written an entirely new book. I think it’s better than the first version. Much better. At least I hope so. It certainly can’t be any worse.
I’m both excited and a bit sad. I almost feel as if I have postpartum depression. I’ve spent the gestation period giving almost daily nourishment to my book in one way or another, some days being easier than others. Now I’ve given birth to a new version of my book exactly nine months after my editor gave me notes on the first draft. I’ve now just turned this second draft back over to her. She’s a talented woman whom I’m lucky believes in me and the story I have to tell.
Now I wait to see if she thinks my baby has potential. I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself while I wait. For the moment, I think I’ll throw on my bikini and go for a swim in the lake. To distract myself from worrying about rejection, perhaps I’ll see how long I can hold my breath underwater.
On second thought, maybe I’ll swim out to the raft and do a swan dive back into the lake. It’s far healthier to celebrate my accomplishment than to obsess about what someone else is going to think of my writing. Of course, there is the very real risk of that swan dive turning into a belly flop. But at least I’ll have fun doing it.