Re-Write! Re-Write! Re-Write!

Today I've been going through the latest draft of my current book line-by-line, and word-by-word. Lately I had been thinking, "This book is in pretty good shape!" but as I really tear the guts out of it, I find that there seems to always be something that I could do better. And so it goes: re-write, re-write, re-write. That's got to be some kind of writer's mantra.

I always find myself wondering, no matter what project I'm working on, when and where will that magic moment come when I'm able to sit back and say with confidence, "Okay, it's finished!" and really mean it.

I have days where I think, "Man, I'll never get this exactly the way I want it!" and other days where I'm thinking, "It's in pretty good shape." Today was one of the "Mission Impossible" days. But I'm sure tomorrow my outlook will shift back to "Hey, this is going to work nicely." And so on.

One thing remains a constant however: I enjoy the heck out of writing. It's one endeavor above all others that I want to pursue with the most blood, sweat and toil for the rest of my days. Well… if I can avoid more of the 'blood' sacrifice than the others and still get my writing done, that'll be fine too.

There's nothing quite like finding something you really love so much that despite it being hard, challenging, brain draining, nerve-wracking work, you find that there are few other things on earth you'd rather be doing.

For me, that's the art of writing.

Basically, I love the whole process of putting together a project, and working with Mike on the entire 'package' as a whole. Mike never quite knows how an illustration is going to come out, and finds the end result a surprise even to himself. I'm the same way with envisioning a finished book.

I have something of an image in my mind that I'm shooting for; I can quasi-picture how the finished work will look, feel and read. I'm very much a stickler about final 'look and feel' of a project. I want the finished book to reflect a certain vision I have for the work as a whole. I try my best to remain true to that vision. But despite it all, I won't know for certain what exact souffle this whole crazy recipe of words and art will bake, until that fateful moment when I'm holding the final result in my hands. That finished creation will be familiar work in some sense, yet at the same time a total surprise to me. I always get a major rush at that exact moment I first see the final results. It's as exhilarating as a thousand Christmas mornings put together!

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