Having reached the lofty ranks of people with their own book being published by a 'real' publisher (OK, it's only a novella being published by small press in the UK, but allow me my brief moment of grandiose self-appreciation), this in turn lead to the dreaded final editing phase.
I freely admit to being an appalling self-editor, quite probably worse than average. It seems the more I study a wretched piece of prose, the more I see what I want to be there rather than what is. It was only on seeing the actual proof that I discovered errors that had slipped through. Oh shit. So another editing phase was put back in my hands. After I finished crying out "woe is me," I was able to talk an editor friend of mine into going through it for me as well. Between the pair of us we (meaning mainly her) discovered a real barrow-load of things that needed fixing up.
So there's lesson number one - get someone else to go over your work with that fine-tooth comb.
Then it was fix-it-all-up time. And I was thoroughly cranky and annoyed with myself by the time I had finished that. It was a considerable relief to send the finished thing off. But this was only a short novella.. I thought about what it must be like to properly edit a novel-length manuscript in that degree of detail, or my wretched thesis that I am currently writing. Good Lord Almighty - if I let my hair grow long enough, I'd be tearing it out in fistfulls trying to fix up my usual scatter-gun collection of errors in a 70,000-plus word piece.
Lesson number two - get it right in small batches to begin with and save the little that is left of my already dubious sanity.
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