My first phone appointment with (presumably) the nice lady who is going to be my publishing consultant with createspace isn't until Wednesday; I had to sandwich it between the last frenzied work shifts before my vacation and the out of town portion of that vacation. I suppose I should be willing to move everything else around the importance of publishing the book, but on this occasion I will give in to more mundane priorities.
Anyway...the first priority for me as I undertake this Amazon-assisted self-publishing enterprise is having the manuscript edited--putting the completed work (as I see it) out there for a critical eye to evaluate.
It's perhaps the greatest advantage and disadvantage of writing as an art form: barring a circumstance where you decide a piece is inherently flawed, you never have to scrap an entire work in order to make changes (of course I have decided that and I have scrapped an entire piece or two). As long as you take advantage of the convenience technology offers, in-line editing is simple. There's no brushstroke that goes so far over the top that it can't be retracted.
On the other hand, you could make a life out of editing and editing...and editing one story, one poem, one book. Of course it's a cliche that art is never finished, only abandoned. But I don't know if it's as true in any other artistic effort. Do you trust your instincts to tell you when the piece is just so? Do you set an arbitrary number of read throughs--"this far and no further," so to speak?
Book Number One is at that point for me. For whatever reason, I am convinced I am too close to the material at this point to make any effective changes on my own. Does it read the way I intend it because the tone is consistent and the events flow one into the other naturally, or does it read the way I intend it because I know what I intended in the first place? With each read through that question gets harder to answer. And so, I decide I need an editor.