Did Christmas fix my manuscript?

Today is the big day. Today, I find out if the Christmas magic worked.

It should have started it’s wondrous business about two weeks ago after the dramatic, romcom-esque race against time came to its nail biting conclusion. Weaving between last minute climate actions and school Christmas carol performances and lashings of rain, I finished the final draft of my manuscript on the afternoon of Sunday the 22nd of December.

On that fateful day, I put that manuscript away in the digital equivalent of a drawer. Today, I’ll bring it out into the light of day and hopefully it’ll be transformed by the sheer power of the holidays into something wondrous.

I mostly hope that a gingerbread smelling sparkle of stars fell down from the heavens and transformed my clumsy writing into something beautiful. Perhaps every single (god-damn) time my characters looked or nodded or sighed has been revised by a festive writing elf into literary gold.

Will this magic transformation have taken place? Will I look over the manuscript today and sigh and nod at the beauty and wonder of its prose? As my parents said in their Christmas letter this year about my attempts to get published, ‘we live in hope’.

Maybe the magic of Christmas has worked its way in a little less direct a fashion. It’s hard to underestimate the dislike I felt for that draft as I slammed it into that digital drawer two weeks ago. After all the feedback from my writing group, the research and restructuring and reshaping, this draft was meant to be the one. It was meant to be my shining novel on the hill. Instead, it let me down. It felt hurried and workmanlike. Or maybe it felt like I had let it down, that I should have worked harder, not compromised. I should have chased perfection that little harder.

All of these demands on myself and my novel have magically loosened their grip on me over the course of these two weeks. I do dread the moment of looking back through the manuscript, but not with the same intensity. I’m also a little hopeful. Maybe all it does need is a polish?

And, if that magic isn’t enough for me, there’s the simple miracle of time. Two weeks away from my book isn’t as good as three or four weeks or a year, but it’s hopefully enough to help me return to its failings and its successes with a fresh pair of eyes able to tell the two apart.

Either way, by the time you read this blogpost, I’ll be reading my book and finding out what magic, if any, has taken place.

Here’s wishing you some magic in your writing or anywhere else you need it in 2020.





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