Things are about to get really interesting: My editor at Riverhead just emailed to say that he has finished putting his comments into my book manuscript and will send me (the old-fashioned way, this being the book industry) the pages next week.
That’s when I begin my favorite part of writing: the re-writing. Research, whether for The Economist or my book, can be a hard slog, and filled with anxiety. The first draft is then a way of cleansing the anxiety by letting it out and giving it shape. But beauty happens in the re-writing, as Khaled Hosseini (also with Riverhead) said so well.
I sent off the manuscript a few months ago, and have since (deliberately) not even looked at it. In my mind and memory, the text has settled. Parts have receded, parts have become amplified. When I look at it fresh next week, things will jump out that I was blind to in February.
When I talked to my editor a couple of weeks ago, he sounded very happy with the book. My agent is happy too. That’s a good reaction, if it is half of the reaction. The other half must be the assumption that it can be made even better. That’s what I’m going to do in the coming weeks.
Then, after I send it back to Riverhead again, we will find the best title, and the date of publication.