Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Insecure Writer and Sending Your Baby Off To The Editor

 


Today is September's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

What makes me an insecure writer this month?

The fact that I just sent my debut manuscript off to my editor.

I’ve always felt I had a pretty good handle on my manuscript, at least as far as typos and errors were concerned. I have a knack for spotting them, and considering that I’ve reread every chapter in my manuscript at least a hundred times (minimum), I assumed simple errors would have been stamped out by now. But as I read through the manuscript one last time before shipping it off to the editor, it became clear to me just how easily errors can slip through.

And that keeps me up at night.

Well, so what, you say. Who cares if a few errors slip through now? I’m still in the editing stages, and more errors will inevitably slip in later while I’m revising based on the editor’s suggestions. But what about later when all the editing is done and I’m finally ready to publish the darn thing? Will I be able to click on that "upload manuscript" button, or will I keep searching my manuscript over and over again, searching for that last elusive error?

I know that errors are inevitable, and that all books have them, but that doesn't make me feel any better.



September's question: How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

I’ll consider myself a successful writer the instant I upload my first book to Amazon. Period. It’ll be an ebook, of course, but that’s okay by me. I’m sure I'll eventually put together a print version, if only so I can have a physical copy or two of my own to sit on my desk. 

As far as income goes, I do have  a target in mind, but whether or not I meet that goal won't determine if I'm a successful writer or not. All that will determine is whether my writing is a career, or an expensive hobby.

 
Take care everyone, and stay safe! 

ChemistKen

P.S. Do any of you know any good proofreaders?

20 comments:

  1. The nice thing about self-publishing is that we can go back in and fix errors later on. :) That may not be too comforting, I know (we like to eliminate them before the books are published), but it can really help to finally let a manuscript go on to the next stage.

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  2. Off to your editor...Congratulations. You've stepped into a whole new world.

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  3. Don't stress it. All books end up published with a couple typos. Since you are doing it yourself, you'll be able to fix those as you find them!

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  4. I've paid for good editing before! It's worth it. Success will happen!

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  5. That's weird. I think of it as a cheap hobby. Can't be any worse than season tickets to (sport of choice) and all the collector jerseys.
    I actually met an author once who had his name misspelled on his book's cover. There's not a comma or run-on sentence in the world that can compete with that. Happy IWSG Day.

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  6. That's awesome you are at the point of sending your manuscript to an editor. That's a huge accomplishment. And you want them to have suggestions for improvements. That's why you hired the editor. Good luck with it!

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  7. Your idea of success is perfect!!
    I don't understand how my brain can look at the page and NOT see the typos and errors, but it definitely happens!

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  8. When you do that upload, I'm sure you'll have a rush!

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  9. Be as thorough as you can, but don't stress too much if something slips by. I found out about an error in my manuscript after I'd already uploaded it to Amazon. I kind of freaked out about it at the time, but it turned out to be a fairly easy thing to fix.

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  10. My mother found a typo in a print book (not one of mine although they have enough) and it has been a favorite ever since. "His blood was cursing through his veins." She could hear the 'Goddamit, goddamit.' lol I swear I've double and triple checked, but I think our eyes just start to skim over the words as we've seen them so often.

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  11. That error thing was keeping me awake at night, too. That's why I gave up and hired an editor. She misses nothing and I sleep better!

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  12. Every book has them! I always said I was going to run a contest - find the typos.

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  13. I so struggle with typos. Whenever I read my work out loud I am shocked at how much I've missed. You are not alone!

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  14. I don't know any proofreaders, but I'm willing to give it a shot if you'd like. Printing it, changing the font, reading from back to front are all ways to catch errors.

    Congrats on sending it off.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  15. I find so many errors in books published by the big publishers, that I know it happens to everyone. I am always humbled by how many errors editors find in what I think is a polished manuscript.

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  16. It is so hard to see errors in your own work. I find that even when I step away and do all the things people suggest to get fresh eyes, they inevitably get through. But I'm sure your editor will help with that.
    Congrats on being so close to having that book in your hands!

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  17. May you have a career and not an expensive hobby like me, Ken ~ LOL! Good luck with your editor. I'm looking forward to that finished book. Take care!

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  18. I remember sending my ms off to the editor feeling smug about how I had no errors in that whole document. Wow, was I taken down several notches after receiving the edited ms. I thought I was perfect, but not anymore. Congrats on your first ms!!

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  19. Melissa Maygrove is an awesome proofreader/editor, one I'd recommend, though I don't know if she has time available. Grats on getting your story sent off to the editor! That's awesome!

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  20. I know that feeling. I go over my books so many times, but then later on, I'll find some errors and be kicking myself. You've been thorough. It's a big rush to release it to the world.

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