Yep, a new name. There's a lot riding on a digital novel's name. The cover art is important - but online that art is thumbnail size until you click on it. So the name has to have a punch. Sand Sifters is a small name for an epic story - but it had ingrained itself on my brain the past few years. After weeks of agonizing and having nothing fit, my editor was able to suggest an excellent one. So, if it passes the marketing department's test, Sand Sifters becomes Paired: A Desert Rising Novel. Yipee!
I've realized that no matter how stoic you are about your writing, no matter how detached you try to be - you'll still feel some pain when it is heavily edited. Even if you have an awesome editor, who has been great about working with me like I do. After much yogic breathing and meditation - I've decided this is a good thing. If you don't still love your novel, you won't be able to edit it with the same tenderness you wrote it with. I had to stop in the middle of the itty-bitty edits several times because I started feeling defensive. I'd take a few breaths, think about why I was getting angry. Usually I was taking it personally, feeling my Self was being criticized. Shifting from looking at my editor as the enemy, lobbing personal attacks at me, to seeing her as a guide and mentor working with me to make my writing shine, is a big step towards enjoying the process. That perspective shift is the difference between seeing life as a constant battle, or life as a beautiful, if baffling creative journey.
They say your novel is your baby. When you send it out into the world, your baby goes to college. When it is accepted and your Editor starts in on it - your baby just got married. Yep, wedding bells are ringing. Someone else loves your baby, but they're the one with the most influence over him now, not you. Your editor loves the novel enough to marry it - but things have to change once they live together. Those quirks you thought were cute, are actually really annoying and she's going to cure them. Polish your baby up so he can make friends in public and shine in a crowd. You may disagree, you may protest - but she's the one who has to live with promoting and publishing it. You have to weigh your opinions against her experience. Now she's open to loving it as much as you do, even some of the odder things. But if you're a jerk to your in-law, your relationship is strained and your baby suffers. The marriage could even end in divorce if you make things bad enough. Then your baby comes back home and you're stuck with him unless you can find a spouse who doesn't mind a jerk for a mother-in-law.
Loving, but letting go. Accepting change gracefully. Being grateful to those who are trying to help.