Writing is Rewriting

Four thousand initial manuscript edits later…


Some exciting (exhausting?) news on the book front this week, as I received my first round of initial edits from the good people at Dave Burgess Consulting, and am now in the final stages of putting together the first proper “edited” version of the finished manuscript for its release this spring.

As the editing team explained:

“The edits focus on style consistency and tightening up the copy as well as shifting from passive voice to active voice. There are a few places where a little more clarification would help noted by comments.”

You want to know what’s really humbling?

Seeing four thousand tiny little mistakes scattered throughout something that you’ve literally stared at for hundreds of hours or longer. And then realizing that this is only the FIRST round of edits!

A quick timeline for those interested in how a bill becomes a law a manuscript becomes a book:

  • Last January, I had a wild idea for a book about game-changing student engagement inspired by theme parks, mud runs, and escape rooms. So I fired up the Google Docs app on my phone and started writing like a madman.
  • In July of 2018, I completed a rough draft manuscript and set up a meeting with the folks from Dave Burgess Consulting to pitch them on the concept I had in mind.
  • After eight weeks of self doubt, worry, and a ton of second-guessing myself, I finally connected with the pirate captain, Mr. Dave Burgess himself, and received word that DBC was on board to sign this project.
  • From September through December, I hacked away at the rough draft of the submitted manuscript, slimming and trimming the text down from its original length of some 56,000 or so words to a lean and mean 43,000.
  • In December of 2018, we officially settled on a title for the book, I submitted the revised manuscript, and EDrenaline Rush was born.
  • This week I received the initial edits — some 4,000 or so in all — which I’m reviewing, approving, correcting, and sending back to the editing team by week’s end (no pressure)! At which point we wait until the…
  • Final round of edits returns back my way in just a few short weeks. At which point it’s our last chance to make sure everything looks the way we want it and we send the finished proof (along with the completed artwork, photos, and logos) on over to the layout team so that…
  • The book will be available this spring!


Author: John

John Meehan (@MeehanEDU) is an English teacher and school instructional coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. He began his teaching career in 2010 as a career switcher through The New Teacher Project, after spending five years working in social media and event marketing. He is a 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader, and an alumnus of the 2016-2018 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council. In 2016, he was named one of Arlington, Virginia’s “40 Under 40” by the Leadership Center for Excellence. He is a past presenter and regular attendee at educational conferences throughout the United States, including the annual conference for National Catholic Education Association, ASCD Empower19, and the Play Like a Champion Today: Character Education Through Sports summer conference at the University of Notre Dame. He’s an avid runner who’s completed more than three dozen marathons, half marathons, long-distance road relays, mud runs, and obstacle course races. John lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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