Once again I find myself becalmed, trying to balance editing for fun (my own work) with editing for profit and getting, it seems, slowly nowhere. Which is surely worse than getting nowhere fast.
In the meantime I’m trying to prepare myself for the release of Human Resources – not far off now – and I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be doing half a hundred things to help promote it. I see future releases by other authors and think ‘why isn’t my novel getting word-of-mouth treatment’? It’s difficult not to doubt oneself, to trust the marketing department of the publishers, to believe that you’re not just going to slip through the cracks.
Is there more I should be doing? Am I fundamentally missing the point here? Why have I not dialogued better with my publishers? My own ideas have been somewhat scuppered by Covid – my favourite (and time-appropriate) convention, Edge-Lit, where I might have done something, has been cancelled. Bookshop events seem like a non-starter.
So what do I do? Well, for the time being I am resolutely failing to address my doubts and cracking on with all the other work I have I to do.
Which means on with the editing, both of my work and commercially.
The editing for myself is working on a fairly polished manuscript that really needs only minor tinkering to turn into something moderately competent. The main task here is to add a few details: to improve and develop descriptions; to mitigate a little ambiguity; to tighten the plotting a little. Small things, along with the accursed formatting issues that seem to plague this manuscript, Microsoft alone knows why.
The commercial editing is mainly slow. It’s not unpleasant but it is work; it’s not just reading a novel and noting obvious errors. It’s second-guessing every sentence – could this be read another way? Is it clear enough? Is it contradicted by a statement three chapters earlier?
In other words, things are quiet and things are slow. But things are, as ever, getting done. How’s progress in your world?