Another piece of advice my husband gave me was to stick to my theme, and not go off on so many tangents. I renamed my story, changing it from "Waiting for Cupid" to "Finding my Fairy Godmother." With the story centered around a Cinderella theme, I had several references throughout my story to Cupid, "the gods," my wishing star, and, of course, my fairy godmother. So when my husband suggested I take out all the references to everyone but my fairy godmother, I was mad, and refused...until I read my book again, and realized how right he was. There was way too much chaos. Now, my book is tighter and more coherent.
Having an outside opinion is one thing, but sometimes getting advice from a spouse can be annoying, since I tend to think that I am right, and he's...not as right. ;) But, after considering all of his advice, my book is so much better right now! Editing is hard work, especially when you fall in love with what you have, and someone tells you that it needs to be changed. When I first ended my book, I left it on a bad note. My husband suggested to me that I change it into more of a love story, reminding me that if I had picked up this book from the library and read it, I would be annoyed with the ending. I kicked and screamed, and refused to change it...because making it into a love story required far more work than I was willing to put into it...thus the year-long hiatus from my book. Now that my book is complete, I get an excited, satisfied feeling when I read the last chapter, because I am happy with how it ends. It actually feels complete, and I think others will feel that, too.
My one major motivation for getting this done is because I came across a publishing company that is looking to publish novellas 30,000-50,000 words long, and they're only accepting manuscripts for one more month. My original book was 24,000 words long, but it is now up to 42,000, which is exactly what they are looking for. After a year of not even looking at my book, and then suddenly becoming motivated to fix it up again, I was surprised when I found that this company was looking for exactly what I was working on (not many publishers are thrilled about publishing novellas). If this wasn't fate, I don't know what is. Now, if I can just finish it up and make it perfect, I may have a shot at publishing! But if not...I can always try again next year.