Rewriting Rescue

woman looking at computer and biting pencil

One of my author clients wrote me the other day to update me on how the rewriting of their novel was going. They told me, a bit in embarrassment, how terrible they realized their writing was. The rewriting was hell, a torturous slog, and their view of their worth as a writer plummeted.

I’m going to share with you what I wrote to them because I think it may help you if rewriting your manuscript is causing the same self-esteem problems. (I have changed some details to protect the writer’s identity.)

Dear Author,

Ah, so I see you've reached the "my book is a heaping pile of dog shit" stage of rewriting. Every writer goes through this. Every writer thinks their book is absolute garbage at least a few times before they finish, no matter who the author is and no matter what the book is.

I get paid to tell the truth. There were times when I kindly pointed out a flaw in the plot, but there were tons of other times when I told you something was really funny and witty and very clever. Don't get hung up on things you need to fix and not see all of the positives too.

Writing is the fun part of being an author. Rewriting is hell. But it's the only way you can get to type "the end" and mean it.

And then I shared with them a couple of my favorite quotes about rewriting:

quote that reads: Books aren't written—they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it. —Michael Crichton

Quote reads: Put down everything that comes into your head and you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. —Colette

If you are stuck in rewriting hell, let's talk so I can help you through it. Drop me an email at

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