This week I jumped into revising the first novel ms. I ever wrote. I started it back in 2003, spent two years with a writing instructor working on it, revised it for three years after that before sending it out, and have been revising it ever since. It morphed from one book into two, gained a modern story to bookend the Jonah story, and just keeps getting longer. Each rejection, new writing book, and writer’s conference has improved the thing. Now I want to have one more go at it before sending the story in to an editor who requested to see it when I met with her at our local writer’s conference. That is what I’ve been doing this week and it is surprising to me how terrifying a last edit still is. I worked on my submission materials for a whole day, just to avoid looking at the story. My heart actually pounds sometimes as I go over it “one last time.” Is my character sympathetic enough and yet interesting? Is my prose smooth? Did a grammatical error sneak in when I wrote that new scene? When I erased that old scene, will the rest of the story make sense? When you have an opportunity to send something to an editor it feels so final and foreboding. This is probably the last chance I will have with this story and this editor and yet, it is a chance. I dare not squander it by chickening out. I am half way through the book now. I’ve read half the story, polished, changed my character, cut whole scenes, and totally freaked out feeling certain that this is the shoddiest piece of prose on the face of the planet, only to wake up in the middle of the night with an idea that might make it fabulous. Maybe it is fabulous? I semi-finaled in a contest with this story. I’ve had publishing professionals say they loved my writing after reading this story. Yet, it might not be good enough. Perhaps it is terrible? So much drama inside my head. Nonetheless, I continue to edit. On to next week and the end!