I just e-mailed my revised novel to my editor.
It took ten weeks to digest her five-page, single-spaced revision letter and tackle the changes. I felt like my manuscript went through Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and SlimFast as it shrunk from 315 bloated pages to 215 compact ones.
Here's how I handled the revision requests:
Day 1: Received five-page revision letter and 315-page manuscript covered with comments.
Day 1 (later): Decided editor was dead wrong. About everything.
Day 2: Re-read revision letter and admitted editor made a couple good points.
Day 3: Re-read letter AND manuscript. Thanked brilliant editor profusely for not letting my manuscript go into the world in such horrible shape.
Day 4: Decided editor was a saint and should have the wing of a library named after her!
Day 4 (later): Got to work.
Days 5, 6 and 7: Made all minor changes written on the manuscript pages.
Weeks 2 through 6: Pulled out the gardening shears for some serious snipping! While making major changes, listened to Edgar Meyer's Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suites approximately 3,947 times.
Weeks 7 and 8: Read through manuscript a couple times to make sure the large changes made sense and everything worked together.
Between weeks 8 and 9: Decided becoming a brain surgeon would be easier and less stressful.
Weeks nine and ten: Went over every single word to make sure it belonged. Several didn't. The ones that remained needed to pull their weight.
End of week ten: Attached manuscript, photo, dedication, acknowledgements, flap copy and a promotional plan to an e-mail for beloved editor and uber-agent. Hit send.
End of week ten (later): Breathed.
What now? Go to Disney? Nah, too expensive. Dive into the next novel? Nope, brain's depleted. Sleep for a week? Hmmm. Pay my bills and get reacquainted with the washing machine? Definitely!
I'm going to do what every neurotic writer does after she sends out one novel and before she begins the next -- I'm going to obsess about whether my editor will like the changes I made, spend time with friends, take walks, see a movie or two, re-introduce myself to my children and husband, cook something that takes longer than five minutes to prepare, kayak, play Scrabble with hubby and read, read, READ!
Before long, some mysterious force will pull me back to the page and I'll dip into my internal well and begin the process all over again. With joy!