I Love You, I HATE You

“Oh, I hate you.” I thrust my fingers through my hair and pulled out the ends.

The perfectly formatted manuscript, the one I’ve spent months of to perfect, gave me a blank stare, as if asking, “Who me?”

My frustration deflated like a balloon. “I know. I know, it’s not your fault. I’m wishy-washy. I loved you last week. But there is something not quite right.”

I sat there reading over my manuscript. AGAIN. This time, with a different kind of eye. I wasn’t sure what it was I was looking for, but I had just come off a several day stint of juding a few contest entries. And I had a renewed sense of hope that I’d find places I could tighten, places I could make come alive.

I mean, this wasn’t my first ride at the rodeo, you know? Several weeks ago, I had looked at my manuscript with a sense of pride. It was good. I knew it was good. But this time, this one time, after reading other people’s manuscript I couldn’t help wonder if it was good enough.

Especially when I had come across a typo. All right there were several typos. There were also places that bogged the story down. Did I really need this bit of dialogue? Did it move the my story forward? Did I need this bit of introspection? Was it too over the top? Did it weaken my hero? Did it make my heroine petty?

I went on to cut a lot. Several pages worth. And it was hard. Those pages were good pages, but I needed something better. I needed something that would stand above the rest.

Did I accomplish my feat? I’m not sure. I have no idea if it will stand out. There’s always something better out there. I guess the real question is, am I pleased with what I’ve done. And I can say, YES. I once again LOVE my manuscript. Will I hate it again next week? Possibly. But I believe in my manuscript, enough not to give up, which is vital to success. If you don’t love your work, you can’t believe in it. And if you don’t believe in it, you won’t go to bat for it, which most likely means it will remain on the bench.

You have to believe in your work.

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