But what happens when our incessant need to make the story perfect destroys our hopes of publication? You could be an amazing writer, but if you never let go and move on, your talent could go undiscovered.
I’m not going to lie; I struggle with this every time I sit down at my laptop and open up my story. It’s no secret that I edit as I go. A lot of authors say it is a terrible habit to get into, but I can’t help but disagree. Everyone writes differently, so it would be foolish and naïve to assume the same rules apply to all of us. Of course, I do understand where they’re coming from. If something feels off to me, I can spend hours or days on one scene, desperately trying to fix it. In the end, it could be one little word that no one else would notice. Is it a bad thing that I spent all of that time on one section? Yes and no.
Yes, because I could move on and figure it out later. In the time it takes me to fix one paragraph, I could have written four pages. As well, the editing process can remove the writer from the flow of creative thoughts.
No, because in the end, my revision time is shorter compared to other people. Whereas they often have to go back and rewrite whole scenes from scratch, I’ve already done that. By the time I type THE END, the majority of my edits are already completed. As well, I’ve found that if I fix it right away, I avoid writing myself into a corner later on.
In the end, I think both tactics work. It’s truly up to you to decide which one works best for you. I’ve accepted the fact that my “first draft” takes longer to write, even though I envy those who can write a story in two weeks. Still, I need to work on loosening the reins a bit and letting my CPs step up to help me out. As the picture above says: Perfection: Success is the art of doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways. No matter what, I need to keep that in mind.
What about you? Do you struggle to let go and move on? Have you found anything that helps you?