Juggling work, book and relationships on a holiday week
Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020 - 6:06 pm.

I finally got my manuscript back from the publisher on Monday! I was actually waiting for my contact there to tell me "hey, they'll start editing your manuscript now". I ran around in circles for a bit when I read the email, and then I got to see the work they'd done.

It's been a disappointment and a waste of time for me.

I suppose I was expecting a real editor, reading carefully and making comments and corrections. Corrections have been made, yes, I welcome a few, but mostly they changed stuff that was to be left alone. The publishing house, being from Spain, is very confused on how to ideal with Central American accents (the story doesn't happen in a real place, but I have something to say about people reacting poorly to foreign accents). Most of my corrections relate to going back to words that were properly written under the logic of the latter accent.

That, and having to add fucking punctuation that for some reason is not there anymore. I'd suppose some of it disappeared while the manuscript went from one format to another, but it sucks they didn't warn me if that was the case. It sucks more if they didn't notice, nor tried to fix it before sending this to me. There were also a few typos that whoever "corrected" the text sorely missed.

Oh, and I found a MAJOR mistake in the plot. It can be fixed in a paragraph, luckily. Also, there was a mistake on someone's age. In the editor's (I don't think the title would be editor here, though) defense, these two mistakes are really hard to spot. I think the first one is easier if you're paying attention: "in the first chapters you explicitly said you would never own that thing for very specific reasons, and now it turns out you got one? And in later chapters you don't have it, again?". The second one wouldn't be a big deal either unless someone, like me, has a fucking Excel sheet and/or starts counting years.

I think it's cute that I firmly believe someone will give a shit about the book.

Anyway. On the plus side, I love going back to that world and the story. I go back and forth on my estimation of its quality, but this is a done deal*, and what matters now is that they fix their own corrections, make the corrections I ask for, and get it printed and properly promoted.

*When I got the email on Monday, I was so happy: yay, they're not ripping me off! Or at least, they're ripping me off within the terms of our contract! However, I'm still holding my breath until the book is out.

Luckily, this week was some sort of winter holiday in my university, so I've had more time to proofread the book. I still had to work, though. I worked everyday this week in the mornings.

By Thursday, I decided I wouldn't work on Friday; I regretted working over the week and was feeling resentful about that. Then, I was asked to attend a meeting on Friday morning to go over a database with a colleague and my boss. I said yes, reluctantly, "to make progress this week on that front".

Then I realized why I couldn't enjoy this week off: the university announced this holiday week two working days before it started (Thursday before this one)! While a lot of people need some time off, it being sprung so suddenly gives you no time to prepare for a week-long pause. In the end, most of our colleagues ended up working this week.

Hence, I didn't get much rest. I got to do an illustration and a comic strip, plus my book, but I was flooded with to-do lists at work as usual.

This constant business hasn't been kind on my relationship with my girlfriend. I warned her I'm working on my manuscript, which does take up a lot of time and energy, but overall, I'm tired. I feel depleted. I feel unable to emotionally respond to her the way I used to.

Moreover, when I told her I'd be talking less to her while I'm proofreading, she got all emotional. I know she understands my situation and the situation we are in on a cognitive level, but emotionally, that's another thing. I get tired of trying to regulate her emotions in advance, to warn her every single time that I anticipate periods when I'll be busier than usual. I get tired of talking about "how we feel" about all that.

When I told her about the proofreading thing, I was actually happy, I was still celebrating that the publisher was working on my manuscript. Instead, I had to comfort her so she'd know that my talking less to her wouldn't mean that I was "bored" of her. I went to bed frustrated and in the morning I had a message from her apologizing because all we did the night before was talk about her feelings, but she was truly happy that the book was coming together, she knew that meant so much to me. I just replied, "I don't know what else to say about this, so let's just leave it at that". We had a few awkward exchanges over the day but then we got back to normal.

She does care about me. She asks about the book and the process and whatever. She's very good at reading some of my mental states. She supports me. Hell, she buys stuff from my store. She lies about having listened to a Paul McCartney song during her childhood, a song that was not released until 2015, just to cover her ass on why she was quoting the corny lyrics after I quoted them on an illustration.

This doesn't mean I'm taking any drastic action on our relationship. She's very sweet and smart and her voice melts me. I just feel tired, I guess. I've noticed how I have to explain my schedule so she won't think I'm blowing her off. She knows other things in my immediate surroundings demand my attention but I have to explain it to her, otherwise she lacks context and I can't blame her for that.

All in all, though, minor things to complain about. In the bigger scheme of things, everything's going pretty well.

Stay safe.

prev / next