You wrote a book! That is very exciting! We all knew you could do it/can't believe you finally finished it/can't wait to see it in print! Now, you need to revise that manuscript and polish it until it shines like a firefly on a perfect summer night! The writing life can be lonely but I am here to guide you through this important task! Here are the 10 easy steps to revising that manuscript:
1. Print out a copy. Hug it, rub your face on it like a cat and then show it to every person you run into during your daily routine . "Hello! Mail carrier! Look at this! This is my book! I wrote it! Do you want to hold it and feel the weight of the words? Wait! Come back!"
2. Take a picture of your manuscript. Text that picture to every friend you have ever spoken to about your manuscript. Bask in their warm wishes!
3. Pick out a pen to use while reading the manuscript. This is an essential step and you must consider pen type, ink color, size. You may also want to consider highlighters and/or colored markers. This step will take at least one day.
4. Read the manuscript. Stop frequently to tell yourself that you have no talent and no one would ever want to read your horribly written book. Raise your hands to the sky and scream, "I've spent the past three years of my life on this?!" Repeat at least once per chapter.
5. Organize the manuscript for easy reading. Sort the chapters by the level of revision they require. You will likely need paper clips or binders for this. You may even need colored paper clips! Spend the day at an office supply store looking at paper clips. Resist the urge to buy post it notes and/or index cards because that would be frivolous and a waste of time.
6. Revise. I'm kidding! Don't rush into anything! Watch two episodes of Orange Is The New Black and text your friends, "OMG Vee!" Bake banana chocolate chip muffins. Play Momcraft. Tell everyone on Facebook that you are revising your manuscript.
7. Make a revision schedule. This schedule should be completely unrealistic and based on the assumption that you are someone else…like maybe Stephen King.
8. Revise for real this time. Make corrections and expand on those initial ideas. Delete the words you obviously love because you use them on every page. Repeat step #4 but only every other chapter this time. Put head on desk and weep silently as needed.
9. Give up. You are already way behind on your random self-imposed revision schedule so you might as well quit. Curl up under a blanket, shake your head and quietly mumble, "I'll never finish…" and "This is too hard…"
10. Finish! I don't know what this is like. Would you tell me, please?