With four days left on my extended deadline to turn over Spirit to the publisher, I’m feeling tons of emotions. The normal fear of “how is this book going to be received and judged by editors.” The anticipation and excitement of finally having a manuscript that I’m proud of ready to make a statement and show the world I am writer. Mixed in this, a little dread and worry.

As of five days ago, I had only three chapters to go. Now, I have three and a half and about the same amount of time to go. Not to mention the fact that I really wanted to take one or two days to read the book cover from cover and make sure there weren’t any really blatant and stupid errors. As of now, that’s off the table.

How did this happen?

Well, I got stuck on one of the chapters. I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t do it without sounding stereotypical in my head. So I turned to a friend and fellow author of mine (the guy who writes limericks on Miller’s Windmill). I’ve known him for several years both on and off line. Good guy, speaks two languages, has a master’s degree in literature, and can create puns out of any set of words you can give him. I’ve done some graphic work for him, read one of his books, and am planning on reading his other when I finish writing mine. Anyway, he and I talked for a long time and he came up with some pretty good ideas and synopses for what I needed to do. Except his synopses turned into more chapters than I was planning on. And since I want 51 chapters in the book, that meant consolidating and renumbering a few. (That part is actually okay, because I was worried about the inconsistency in the number of words in each chapter.)

The material he gave me is about three quarters of the way incorporated into the book. I have a one chapter left to do in that respect. I made a lot changes to get it into my style and voice and left some parts out that I may put back in.  I haven’t quite decided yet. Usually when I write something as intense as I what I did in the last two days, I take a day off and revisit it. Even then, as I’m working on other stuff, I go back and make finally tweaks. Right now, I don’t have that luxury.

Is the quality of what I submit in four days going to suffer because of this lack of review? A little. But, overall, I am confident in what I’m going to be submitting. Even if I did give the publisher the absolutely perfect book with all the loose ends tied up and every grammatical and spelling mistake corrected, I know they would find at least one or two things to change.

Right now, I just have to concentrate on getting the book done and balancing my normal computer workload along with that take.  All I can do is make sure I give the publisher my best and the book I would want to read. I know, in my heart, I’m doing that, at least.

And you know what? Even a year ago I couldn’t say that. Not because of the lack of material, but because I would have been looking to be too much of a perfectionist and trying to follow all the rules, even when they were contradicting themselves.