Friday, 22 October 2010


By Richard Jay Parker

I'm in the twilight area between my new book being edited and completed. It's the fine edit and polishing stage and it evokes all sorts of feelings - from tentative excitement to nausea induced by repeatedly reading paragraphs until they don't make any sense.

When is a project ready? Like the small details I mentioned last week I think you rely on your gut. My own personal yardstick is if I'm still changing lines when I'm reading through, it isn't ready. If I'm changing lines, rethinking and then changing them back to how they were, it's ready.

But when it's at the point when I think it's ready to leave home there isn't usually a celebration. I always find completing a project a bit of an anticlimax. A brief relief before anticipating the opinions of the people who are going to read it.

Imagine a waiting room containing all the writers of the world who are waiting for feedback from agents and publishers. There would be plenty of reading material to share. The camaraderie would be good as would the quality of the coffee. Ok - perhaps we're talking an arena.

Maybe somebody should set up a cyber waiting room that could contain the writers of the world - a place to knock about and compare rejection bruises. Any takers?

Or maybe it should be run more like an AA meeting. Hi, my name is X, I'm a writer, my manuscript is called X and I haven't had a response for X days.

But now back to those polishes. I'll just read it through once more.

And maybe just once more.

And maybe just once more.

More about Richard's work at


  1. Great post, R, I enjoyed that. I'm definitely up for the room/AA meeting.

    My name is Sarah, and I'm a writer. I've been writing, sometimes secretly, for years. I can't stop. Sometimes I binge-write. I've tried pouring all my words down the sink, but it doesn't work. I wake up and I want to write. I sometimes get up in the night and write.

  2. Also revisioning and rewriting here. My deadline to get it to my agent is the end of the month and then I join the waiting-room. Looking forward to some good coffee.

  3. I love the idea of writers anonymous. Is there is meeting for Revisions R Us? (winks) (Hugs)Indigo

  4. That cyber waiting room is called "Twitter."

  5. Great post. I like the idea of the writer's waiting room too. I could definately see it being "Twitter" as anonymous posted. I love the feeling giving a story its final edits. Once its down and out of my head I feel like a whole other world expands and all the other stories that are flitting around in my mind are vying for my attention. "Choose Me" "Choose Me" the scream.

  6. Hi Sarah - do you hide a manuscript on top of the light shade or inside the toilet tank?

    Thanks, Charlotte - best of luck with the waiting game.

    Another good concept, Indigo. And there would be plenty of takers.

    Yes,I guess Twitter is the nearest we have.

    Hi, Lara. Hope the stories are screaming at you again. I'm hoping mine will keep quiet for at least a couple of hours after I've finished book 2.