Sunday night, my husband left on a week-long white-water rafting trip. It was rather sudden, actually, but he's off having a blast in an area with no cell reception. For the first time in our 11-year marriage, we will not be talking on the phone before bedtime.
Late Monday night, in response to the aforementioned departure of my sons' primary-care-giver, my mother-in-law generously agreed to double up on grandchildren and take my three boys a week early, the same week she's taking three of their cousins. That's six children aged ten and under. She's amazing, that woman. Truly.
So I'm all alone. By myself. Oh-so-lonely.
Whatever shall I do?
Oh, yeah. I can finish my edit!
After I finished the first draft, I let it sit for a month or so, edited it (cutting over 12,000 words), let it sit for another month while my awesome writer's group tore it to bits (though they mostly liked it), edited it again, sent it out to amazing beta readers who spotted more mistakes, rewrote the ending and the beginning again, let it sit for a few weeks, and now I'm over halfway through the edits suggested by my betas. I still need to hunt down wayward semicolons and over-used words and phrases, but then I'm rather at a loss about what else I can fix. I'm worried I'll do more harm than good if I keep fiddling. I know it's a bit long for my genre, but I don't know which scenes can be most easily sacrificed.
By the end of the week, I might start calling my WIP a Manuscript.
By the end of the week, I just might be ready to --
See? I can't even say it. Or type it.
Because once I hit send on a... you know... reality will inevitably fall. Once I hit send, industry professionals will start to tell me that I'm not actually finished. Right? Everyone says so. Even if it's perfect, it won't please everyone. I don't need it to please everyone.
But what if it pleases no one?
What if ONE MORE edit would do the trick? Should I let it sit for another month and then read it again?
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU'RE FINISHED?
Yes, I know that my awesome blogfest buddy over at Novel Thinking already asked this question last week. There were lots of great responses. I even chimed in (oh, the irony). What I really want is for someone to say "Yes! Robin! Finish this edit and send that sucker out!"
'Cause then I can blame you when it all goes pear-shaped.