Finding Time for those Crucial Final Edits

I’ve had an agent request a look at my work in progress (wip), and I’m eager to send it to her, but before I do, I want to (need to) make sure it’s as good as I can possibly make it. That means I’m going through it page by page, checking formatting, making sure I haven’t switched names, hair color, etc, and checking to see that everything is in the correct order.
(My story starts the day before Halloween and ends before Thanksgiving, so I need to make reference to the holiday decorations, weather, and all those little features that can make or break a story.) This is also the time to eliminate repetitions, get rid of clichés, and perk up the dialogue.

All of this, in my opinion, is necessary, but it does take  time, and what I’m finding the most frustrating is I can’t always find the time. In the last week we’ve had several friends from Michigan stop by. I truly enjoy seeing these people, and my husband and I enjoy taking them around and showing them some of the great spots here in Florida, but these side trips and meals out are hampering my diet and the read-through of my manuscript.

Mothers with young children often say they can’t find time to write and that they’ll write a book once the kids are grown and they have more free time. Well, the truth is that free time never comes. You need to make the time to write because it doesn’t matter what phase of life you’re in, there will always be interruptions. You have to make choices: give up some things (often it’s sleep), say no at times, and allocate chores whenever you can.

I don’t want to say no to the friends who call and ask if here’s a time when they can stop by, so I’ll be staying up late a few nights so I can have uninterrupted time to read through my ms. And that’s all right. Late at night it’s cooler and quiet. My husband’s asleep, the dog doesn’t need to be walked, there are no TVs or radios on, no telephone calls, and no
unexpected visits. I can truly delve into my story.

So guess what I’m doing tonight.

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6 Responses to Finding Time for those Crucial Final Edits

  1. Happy editing, Maris! I’m at that point for two projects and I’m having so much trouble “getting to it”. Work, school, and family all demand time. So I guess I’d better get off the internet and get to work. Hope you’re not up too late!

  2. Having to say no is something we all must eventually come to terms with as writers, isn’t it, Maris? A writer friend once told me that and I thought, no way! I’ll just work my writing around my life. Ha! How wrong I was and right she was! Sometimes you have to say no to friends, kids, life so you can get your work done. But, compromises can be made and everyone can be happy 🙂
    Great post!
    Good luck with the edits and I hope the agent loves your work and offers representation!

  3. Maris,

    How true about the time. Snatch it when you can.

    Good luck!

  4. Diane Burton says:

    You are so right. We’ll never “find” time to write–we have to make time. I can’t believe how time slips away. I always think I have more time than I do. Early mornings are my best time to write/edit/revise. My brain can’t do those late nights anymore. Good luck with all your editing. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to put forth your very best.

  5. Debra says:

    You’re absolutely right. Free time never comes. There’s always something competing for your writing time. BTW, your dog is beautiful. I love Rhodesian Ridgebacks, the ones I’ve met had great personalities.

  6. Debra says:

    Forgot, good luck on your submission!