My publisher sent my book off to the printers yesterday. I feel sick. I am a bit of an overachiever, you see. And the idea of sending off my work, to transform it into permanent ink on paper, freaks me out. I edited the living bejeebers out of that book. Then other people edited it. Then, a person who gets paid to edit it, edited it. So, after making changes, putting back some ‘thats’ that I had taken out because I thought you were supposed to use as few thats as possible, I was done editing!
Then my publisher changed the book’s font and its formatting, too…
Which meant new problems. I suppose everyone else out there knows that Word does automatic hyphenating? Well, I didn’t. So, being the overachiever that I am, I manually hyphenated my work after justifying it. If you don’t hyphenate, some of your sentences will look gappy (that’s an extremely technical term that means lots of space between words). So guess what happened when he reformated the work… Yepper, lots of words in the middle of sentences looking like this: Auto- matically. He was very diplomatic about it when I told him what I’d done. I think his response was, "Huh?" I could feel the sympathetic waves coming off him.
There were other spacing problems, as well, of course. I just hope I found them all. I did the spell-check and grammar check yet again. I looked it over one last time. But I just know there’s a typo in there somewhere, lurking, waiting to expose me for the fraud that I am.
So, yes, I’m a bit of an overachiever.
Being an overachiever has its advantages. It means I’m going to do a lot of editing to get things just right. I actually kind of like editing. That is, until I have to present my work to other people in the form of a published book that they paid money for. They’re going to react just like I do when I find typos in a book. Didn’t you spell-check this? Jeez! It’s, like, the easiest thing you can do! You didn’t re-read this! I mean, you couldn’t have! Look at all these mistakes! Where happened to your brain, girl? Did you leave it in a jar somewhere?
Don’t get me started on the actual content of the book. I can’t even think about what people who don’t like it are going to say. That’s why I will probably be heading to my happy place for a while (starting November 1st, when my book’s supposed to be published). I will also remind myself of the concept of the Persian Flaw. The Persians purposely included a mistake in their carpets to show that only God is perfect, and that they, themselves, aren’t trying to be God. So if you find a mistake, I did that on purpose. To show that I’m not God.
I think, by now, that you’ve guessed where being an overachiever has its disadvantages. I’ve been working on mellowing out, but it’s hard. I want to present a perfect picture to the world so that you have nothing to beat me over the head with. But it’s awfully difficult to be perfect when you are searching through a book you have already searched a thousand times, looking for that needle in the haystack. So I think I’m going to just have to take a deep breath and…Pass out!
Remember…When it comes to life and its little foibles, you’d better laugh hard, otherwise you’re going to be sobbing like a baby.