I have never thought of myself as a good writer.
But I’m one of the world’s great re-writers. James A. Michener
Michener’s book, The Source, is one of my all-time favorites.
And Steve Berry seems to have loved him as I did, giving a wonderful introduction to Michener’s life and writing in a new edition with a lovely new cover.
Michener’s quote caught my attention because I’ve spent the past 2 1/2 months polishing my memoir–twice. And that involved some re-writing as well.
The length of time it took surprised me. I spent several hours polishing each of thirty-one chapters on the first round. The second round took less time but still a fair chunk. And being so close to readiness to send it to my beta readers, I became obsessed and hardly moved out from behind my keyboard.
On Friday, April 10, I sent A Long Awakening to Grace: A Mother’s Journey to five fabulous people who agreed to read and give me feedback. This is a little like leaving your baby with a sitter for the first time. A bit unnerving, I’m surprisingly calm. I’ve done the best I can and am grateful for their willingness to help me make it better. And then I’ll be re-writing again.
Did you notice? I’ve added a subtitle since my last post. Feedback varied. One on-line writing friend said, “I think A Long Awakening to Grace is such a lovely title that no subtitle is needed.” I loved that feedback. This title was a gift from the Universe, so how could it not be lovely?
Another made the following point. “…like your subtitle very much. Subtitles help to direct expectations, identify the ‘subgenre’ of the work, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. Yours helps.” So I’m adding the subtitle, A Mother’s Journey.
While I await my reader’s feedback, I’m grateful for Hemingway’s reminder:
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. Ernest Hemingway