"...to write is to practice, with particular intensity and attentiveness, the art of reading. You write in order to read what you've written and see if it's OK and, since of course it never is, to rewrite it--once, twice, as many times as it takes to get it to be something you can bear to reread. You are your own first, maybe severest, reader. 'To write is to sit in judgment on oneself,' Ibsen inscribed on the flyleaf of one of his books. Hard to imagine writing without rereading.

"But is what you've written straight off never all right? Sometimes even better than all right. And that only suggests, to this novelist at any rate, that with a closer look, or voicing aloud--that is, another reading--it might be better still..."    Susan Sontag, "Directions: Write, Read, Rewrite. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as Needed" (From Writers [on Writing] Collected Essays from the New York Times)

You've just read through your entire manuscript. You can't possibly make it any better, any cleaner, any tighter. You're finished! And tomorrow morning you're gonna wrap that baby up and send it out into the world of agents and publishers, right? Right? Then again, maybe your next step should be to the Editor's Office.


Welcome to JRH Editing, where "your work" truly is "my heart."