You hear the phrase a LOT nowadays. In the common usage, it means to treat someone you love harshly, in order to help them in the long run. So, when your dad punishes you for pulling the dumb stunt of jumping of the house roof, he’s administering tough love. He’s being stern now, in order to prevent you from breaking a leg, or sundry other limbs you might want to keep intact.
But for a writer, I mean something entirely different. Sure, you can be harsh on your novel while editing it, so that it’s better that before. But that’s not what I mean. By tough love, I mean that sometimes it’s tough to love your writing. Anyone who has ever finished a book will know what I mean.
By the time you finish that second edit, you are beginning to wonder if it’s worth all the trouble. By the time you hit edit number four………………it’s becoming quite unbearable. You never want to see the dang book again. As you go through the manuscript for the twentieth time, picking spelling mistakes out of your fine-tooth comb, you begin to wonder……………………………maybe that book of matches is your new best friend.
DON’T BURN IT!!!!! Don’t decide to abandon it, because it’s just not good enough, compared to all the hard work you put into it. Trust me.
All the effort is well worth it. When you print off that new manuscript for the first time, when you hold all that ink and paper that was built on sweat, tears, red ink, typos, and rewrites, the effort begins to look like a tiny amount. No, don’t get me wrong. It was a LOT of work. But it wasn’t much to do, in order to get that awesome feeling you’ll have.
You wrote…………. A BOOK!!!