My right neck and shoulder hurts. I got a massage Thursday – which helped until Friday. Now it’s back.
The cause? Long, long stretches at the computer working on line edits. For the non-writers who read my blog, the line edit is the phase that immediately follows revisions, which immediately follows turning in the final and, hopefully, polished draft of a manuscript. It is not work that you can do elsewhere. It’s fanny-in-the-chair time, okaying or rejecting changes, reading the editor’s comments and requests. All but one of my publishers does line edits using Track Changes in Word. If you ask me, that is the best invention for writers, right after the computer and word processing software. (Hey, I started my career writing long hand and then typing on an IBM Selectric typewriter.)
The line edits I’m working on are for the novel Return to Me, the sequel to my current novella, A Carol for Christmas. I’m almost 20% done, and thus far I’m pleased. When I turn in a revised manuscript, I’m usually thinking, Well, this is truly awful. That’s because I’ve been over it so many times that I’m sick of it. I know what’s going to happen, and therefore, there are no surprises so I’m bored.
Enter my wonderful editor. I love getting her suggestions and changes. I love seeing my manuscript through fresh eyes. I love tweaking and fixing and improving.
But I am not crazy about this ache in my right shoulder and neck. I’m icing and using Tei-Fu lotion and swallowing Aleve. And working away because the line edit deadline cometh.