Put It Away

So, you’ve finished your book. Gotten it just how you want it. You’ve made twenty revisions, rewritten the whole thing ten times, and offered your soul to the coffee gods. Good job! Now put it away. Don’t look at it. Don’t think about it. Pretend you’re on vacation and you caught a nasty “my book” virus that is deadly to writers who read their own work. After you’ve had ample time to cleanse yourself from the book, to the point where you can’t quite remember most of it (say…a month after you put it away?), take it out, dust off the pages, and read it to yourself out loud. Make simple notes as you read, but don’t make any revisions quite yet. Get through it as fast as you can, before your memories of the book fully awaken. If you’ve got a rather long book, then break it up into sections when you read it. But (and I cannot stress this enough), make sure you READ IT OUT LOUD!