A quick reflection or two, here on New Year's Eve:
I want to get my debut novel, The Single Eye, published as soon as possible. Yes, I need to finish my current edits. Yes, I ought to and shall let it rest for a month or two before I go over it one last time and then launch it out into the fearsome sea of readership. But I've decided that late March to mid-April is my farthest-out deadline for publication.
Why? Because I'm an egomaniac.
*Pauses while she hits herself upside the head and calls herself a silly goose*
Sorry. Correction: I need to get it published by then so I can take advantage of a sure-fire opportunity to do some face-to-face marketing. I've won a free ride to the annual Pennwriters' conference the third weekend in May, and I'd be an idiot not to have my book there ready to show my colleagues. Heck, maybe I could even get a little space at the Saturday afternoon authors' fair (though that may be open only to those who are trad published). Imagine it: Me handing out swag and selling (I hope!) my very own book!
So how much more pre-letting-it-rest editing will I do? First, I'll finishing evaluating my beta readers' comments and incorporating their perspectives as appropriate. Second, I'll finish redoing the places I myself know need redoing, whether anyone else has told me so or not. Third, I'll get rid of those passages where up to now I've told myself, "Yeah, that's a little cheesy and even kind of narrator-intrudery, but I'll leave it in because Ms. X the Famous Writer gets away with prose like that, and besides, I'm a first-time author and no one expects me to be that good." No. If I find myself looking around guiltily hoping nobody will notice What I Did There, the word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, whatever, needs to be excised and sent to the Outtakes File.
I'm setting the end of January to complete all that. Or the third week in, preferably.