Editing a Book is Like Buying a House, or: Being a Grown-Up is Terrifying and Exhilarating

I’m forty-seven years old. I’ve had bunches of jobs. More than a dozen, just counting employers and not different positions, or jobs I’ve quit and come back to. I’ve owned eleven cars, and rented fifteen apartments/houses/condos. I’m a mom, a widow, an author, and an occasional college student.

You’d think I could get over the “this is scary holy cats!” carp by now.

And as I type this, no joke, “Eye of the Tiger” starts playing.

I’m working on buying a house. It is, astonishingly, like editing a book. Which, coincidentally enough, I am also doing right now.

What are these similarities?

There’s so much to consider.
  • Two out of three in my household take the bus to work/school. We thought several houses would be in the running because they were close to a bus route that wonderfully runs clear across town, starting near kid’s school then passing near housemate’s place of work. Then we saw that the earliest bus going west (the necessary direction) on that route would not get her to work until an hour after her start time. Suddenly a lot of houses on the east side are out of consideration. Houses on the west end may still work out. Except the kid’s school is on the far east side of town…and on, and on.
  • I’m editing the second book in a trilogy. What did Hiro say about the Watchstones in the first book? Did he know what he was talking about when he said it, or was he wrong? Will the truth come out here, or in the third book? Et cetera, and also et cetera.
There’s so much to keep track of.
  • Did I look at this house already? If I did, why isn’t it in the running? What did I see that disqualified it–or does it just look familiar because I’ve looked at SO MANY HOUSES lately?
  • Eshan’s lefthanded. That’s important. Ume wears her sword on her back. Don’t forget that. And—omg, did I seriously think it was okay to write this character as 1) dark-skinned and 2) almost/sort of a werewolf but not exactly? Holy hades, how did I manage that one? Okay, re-think, re-think…
How do I put the best spin on this?
  • Am I better off applying on my own (my credit is “excellent” I’m told) or with housemate included (because counting her paying her share of the bills as income confuses everyone, but I won’t qualify for much without it?) even though she has no credit to speak of?
  • obviously. I’m trying to write a novel people want to read, after all!
Decisions made in both areas will have a huge effect on people I care about for a long time.
  • Should I go with the house that’s practically perfect except it has evaporative cooling instead of AC, and then I can’t put AC in later? I’ll be okay, but my housemate pretty much wilts when the hottest part of summer hits. But practically perfect and I should be able to do the AC as part of the purchase loan…okay, no, can’t do that. What about the house on the north side? It doesn’t shorten anyone’s commute, but we can afford it easily and make it pretty and…it still doesn’t shorten anyone’s commute and four hours a day on the bus is ridiculous. Argh, househunting is hard…
  • Oh. Hell. I should probably kill [redacted] and [redacted], huh? That’s…hell, that makes sense. I should probably…but then how will [other redacted] manage [redacted?]
  • The rental company that manages the place where we live now raised the rent. If I were willing to sign another year’s lease, it would only go up by $70. Unfortunately I’m not, so they are hiking it by $170 a month. Rather put that into my own house, thank you very much! Especially since you tell me things that definitely do need fixing aren’t in bad shape… So we gotta move, in just over a month, and we’ve got to do aaallll the paperwork and documentation and such to get a loan and buy a house in that time, not to mention PACKING!!
  • June 1st. Gotta turn the book in June 1st. Just over two months, while buying a house and moving.
  • < 65 days.
  • Yep.

I think I better get back to work.


  1. Bwaaaahahahahahaha.

    …what I mean is, that sounds familiar. All of it. *hugs*

  2. Hugs. You can do this. I believe in you. 🙂

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