Is your manuscript ever, really, ready?

I know… It’s almost 11:00pm on a Sunday night. I SHOULD be sleeping…


I usually post on Sundays and I totally flaked today. I have an excuse, and it’s a good one. It is NOT that my dog ate my homework.

I’ve been busy editing a 86K novel in less than 48 hours!

WHY? you ask.

Because when a publisher asks to see your manuscript, the world around you halts. And it’s okay!

Really. It’s okay. Give yourself a break!


Everything in our lives can stop because of other commitments, other responsibilities, other holy-crap moments. Why not for writing?

I don’t care how many times that manuscript has been edited. There is always something else to fine-tune, something to delete, something to fix. Even after your book comes out, you can find things that make you cringe, or you wished you’d built up more, or even wish you’d made more important.

It is, what it is.

But while editing, I found that I had to be very careful. In the search for perfection, I was losing my voice. I was editing out me. It’s important to remember NOT to edit out our own voices. In the grind to make a manuscript as enticing as they can be, sometimes we OVER edit.

Don’t lose your voice. It’s what sets you aside as an author. It’s what makes you – well – you.

And let’s face it. We all want our work to be as good as it can be, but we also want to stand out from the crowd.


We now return you to your regularly scheduled program… 🙂

Happy reading and writing everyone.


6 Responses to Is your manuscript ever, really, ready?

  1. I spent over 12 hours at my computer last night/this morning, writing the first half of a story with a looming deadline. Tonight I’ll rest and tomorrow will be the same. A day or 2 to cool, then rewrite, polish, submit.

    Yes, all other duties are suspended. The laundry piles up. There is housework to be done. Even the few students that have filed their work for my critique will wait until the story cools.

    Sometimes there is no choice but to work, rest, eat and work until the work is done. It’s part of the lives of writers, no matter how hard we try to regulate our time.

    Every so often we must unleash the obsession that at other times we control so that we may live our lives.

    This week I am the writer. That IS my life. When I submit my polished piece for consideration, likely on the day of the deadline, I’ll return to the pursuit of the elusive “moderation in all things;” that truism that offers me the chance to be a member of society, a good citizen, a friend and a fiancée. Until then, I am nothing more than a racing mind and fingers that fly upon the keyboard, moving the message from inside me to outside me.

    This week I am the writer.


  2. Writing Jobs says:

    That was an excellent post today. Thanks so much for sharing it. I
    really enjoyed reading it very much. You have a wonderful day!


  3. Well said Madeline.

    So many of us have a hard time just letting everything else go and doing the writing we need to do!

    Thanks for the great comment!


  4. I’m late to the party, but I have to say I agree with you. I have friends who take every word a contest judge has written to heart and it ends up interfering with their voice. One must have confidence in ones own writing. That doesn’t mean not learning craft, it means be true to one’s own book.


  5. Ella! Thanks for the reblog.

    And I know what you mean! I’ve seen other authors take a critique and completely overhaul everything they did!!!

    Crits and beta reads are there to help you strengthen and refine… Editting out an author’s voice will kill a manuscript faster than a plothole will!

    Thanks for stopping in.


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