Friday, December 7, 2012

Turning Off the Perfectionist

I'm doing better since having my little writerly breakdown last week. I'm plugging away at editing my last few chapters with the hopes of being able to actually start querying literary agents in January.

I think I've finally been able to convince myself that no, this novel is not going to be perfect. Yes, I've heard that from other authors before, but I don't think it really ever sunk in. It wasn't until last week that I really realized how badly I'm burning myself out on this story that I love by constantly going back and rehashing it to pieces.

Not that I think that I shouldn't have spent time and hard work editing this book. It's definitely light years ahead of the drivel it started out as in my 2010 NaNoWriMo. But I think I've been working on it too long.

I've realized now that if I keep tearing it apart and rewriting, I'll never finish. My skills as a writer are growing with every book I read, with every new scene I write. If I keep going back, month after month, and trying to edit my entire book into something up to par with my new writing skills, it will be a never-ending process. I'll just never be able to say, "It's done. It's as good as I'll ever be able to do." I just need to get it as good as I can do now.

I've decided to finish edits on my last few chapters and then take the plunge and see if I can get anyone interested. If so, great. I'll have the advice of a professional to help me make the book into something they think they can sell. If not, well then, maybe I'll look into self-publishing or maybe I'll just put it in a drawer for the time being, but at any rate I'll move on to my next story.

I can't grow as a writer if I'm stuck on the same novel, and if I keep rehashing the same story, I know I'm eventually going to overdo it and ruin the book completely. I'm just going to do the best I can at this point in my life and then keep moving. Quit trying to be perfect. That's the only way I can do what I love without also losing my mind in the process.

Plus I've got a baby coming in April. I'm not going to have the extra brain cells to lose.

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