It’s been a while, I know. Just thought I’d update y’all briefly.

Summer has been wonderful. Jonathan and I traveled to Paris, the Swiss Alps, Zurich, Savannah, and Rosemary Beach. It was all amazing, but we both agreed that we MUST return to the Alps someday and go paragliding over the Lauterbrunnen Valley again–breathtaking, thrilling, and transcendent of written description.

Other than traveling, I’ve been–you guessed it–revising. So far, I’ve drafted the first two books of my middle grade trilogy about an invisible girl, and I’ve edited the first book at least five times. I’m not stopping there.

Yes, I’ve been editing since April. Yes, I’ve over-edited in some spots and have had to undo some edits. Yes, I could recite all 55k words in my sleep. Yes, I get a little queazy at the sight of my manuscript each time I open it. Okay, so some of this is an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

I’ve come to accept the fact that revising is an open-ended process. It never ends. In fact, I find typos in published books all of the time. Even in my favorite book A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, I found two blatant typos. Mind you, most published books (and I don’t mean self-pubbed books, though many of those have editors too) have gone through multiple revisions by the author, the agent, and the editors before hitting the press. Errors still happen. It’s just part of being flawed human beings who live on a flawed earth.

Although many published books aren’t ever truly perfected, many come dang close. That’s my ultimate goal, to produce a manuscript that’s dang close. At this stage in the game, I’m aiming for close enough–close enough for an agent or publisher to overlook the minor grievances that I just can’t see for myself anymore. But this means that I have to edit to the point at which I can’t edit anymore. At what point does that happen? I don’t know. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? Don’t answer that.

In reading tons of agent tweets and blogs this past year, I’ve come to understand that there are some mistakes that almost all agents find unforgivable. Poor grammar, weak characters, and a pointless plot are just a few. I’m definitely editing for stuff like that. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m editing for everything that I possibly can. As one agent said in a Writer’s Digest Webinar that I recently took, “Your manuscript should be perfect in your eyes.” Meaning, it should be the best work that you’re capable of producing.

As a side note, I highly recommend to all of the writers out there that you check out the Writer’s Digest Webinar page. I have found several of the webinars to be super helpful. If you sign up for a  webinar with a critique option, you’ll even get feedback on a small writing sample from the presenter. Presenters are usually agents or industry professionals. If you can afford one of these sessions, pick the one that’s most appropriate for your writing, and go for it.