I missed Shakespeare’s birthday celebration because I was in the middle of final, final edits. Those of you who are writers are keenly aware of the abject horror of final, final edits. Basically the publisher says to you: “Here is your last chance to catch embarrassing typos, missing words, misplaced commas, etc. After you sign off, your work will be paraded naked through Amazon and, if you missed anything, you will be the laughing stock of the literary world. But what do we care. You’re not making us any money.”
And you know, don’t you know, don’t you know, that despite the many, many, many times you and your editor and the proofreader go over the manuscript, as night follows day, something will be missed.
Oh yes. That nasty little bugger – the Typo That Got Away – is hiding somewhere in the text, somewhere weary eyes haven’t a chance of finding him.
However, that first reviewer, oh yes, never fear. Your first reviewer will find it. And they’ll dangle it in front of your face as if to say – “what kind of a writer are you anyway?”
Sigh. The second worst thing about final, final edits is – guess what – it’s Circus Barker time because you know if you don’t start out of the gate with 35 five star reviews well, you might as well have never written the book at all. You’ve just frigging wasted all the years of your life you devoted to writing it.
I’m not a huge fan of Kafka but when it’s Circus Barker time I feel like I’m devolving into a giant praying mantis, sliming all my friends and colleagues.
I know what. This time I’ll do it a little differently. I’ll offer a reward for the Typo that Got Away. Dead or Alive. Or better yet, I’ll sell my soul to . . . Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice