Monday, April 22, 2013

Call It Done





Every writer faces it. "The End." Whether a novel, article, blog post, or other project, there's that time when we call it done and publish or submit to an editor.

This came to mind when I saw an amusing cartoon on Facebook. I can't remember who posted it or I would share it. (If it's you, let me know. I'd be happy to give due credit!)

Picture it: An editor stood to the left side. Writer #1 stood to the middle right, and had just handed the editor a submission. Writer #2, at far right, clutched writer #1 around the waist in an effort to keep writer #1 from grabbing the submission back from the editor. Writer #1 said, "But wait, I want to look at it one more time!" (My paraphrase.)

I had to laugh. Been there. Done that. Okay, maybe without the drama, but I know the feeling. Must tweak things. One. More. Time.

Is there a solution? If so, what is it?  Here are my thoughts:

Tools to Help "Call it Done"

  • Let it rest. Time is an asset. Even a short break helps us return with fresh eyes before hitting the send button.
  • Get outside input. Whether from writing friends or a paid editor, another perspective offers insight for optimum polish.
  • Deadlines. There's nothing that motivates like a good old fashioned deadline. I often impose my own to stay on track. 
  • Practice. As skills improve, so does our confidence. Moving on gets easier.
  • Acknowledge that enough is enough. Insecurities and perfectionism may urge us to adjust the words forever. But forever is a long time. Give it your best and move forward.
  • We are not alone. All writers have this or similar challenges.

This of course, is not to say that we shouldn't strive for excellence. Of course we should. But the time comes when we must "call it done".


Do you fight the temptation to endlessly tweak or second guess submissions? What steps do you take to work through it?


Special Note: My Dad is visiting from NJ, so I am taking a break until Monday, May 6.

Enjoy your week! :)

Happy writing,

Karen 

Top Image Credit: Stock Exchange/Billy Frank Alexander




31 comments :

  1. I used to have that problem. Then, I learned to hit the release button and go on. I probably have a few mistakes, but I'm not sitting on a submission because of indecision either.

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  2. Have a great time with your father!
    When I start changing things back to the way they were in the first draft, I know I'm done.

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  3. Good post, Karen, and great advice, as usual. Enjoy your time with your dad.

    Blessings!
    Jean

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  4. I could find something wrong forever if I let myself.

    Have a wonderful time with your dad.

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  5. Wise words, Karen. Thanks. Hope you have a wonderful time with your dad.

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  6. Love the image your description of the cartoon conjured up :-) Sounds very familiar! But finally learning when to let go...

    Fun post. Thanks. Enjoy your time with your dad.

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  7. Great message in the cartoon. Enjoy your time with your dad. Mine's been gone for almost four years.

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  8. Resonating with those self-imposed deadlines you mentioned. Enjoy your family time, Karen!

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  9. The eternal editor lives, and she is me! With deadlines now, maybe that will change...or maybe not.

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  10. Enjoy your break with your dad!

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  11. I too have the last minute editing malaise. Enjoy your time with your dad.

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  12. Karen,

    Have a great break. Hope you create a lot of great memories worth writing about. :-)

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  13. I'm doing that now! Ugh! Thanks for sharing this and that we all seen to do it.

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  14. Letting it rest works for me. Hope you have a great visit with your dad.

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  15. I can't wait to get my novel draft done! Enjoy your break :)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  16. I hope your break was wonderful, Karen!

    Sure been thinkin' of you.

    Waving, grinning, waiting for you to return,

    Rhonda

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  17. Oh, Karen, I'm so bad that I edit AFTER submitting. When submitting by email I blind copy myself to make sure everything has gone okay, and invariably I open up the attachment and read through it, always spotting something I wish I had tweaked. It's a curse. An illness. Type-A madness. *sigh*

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  18. Thanks so much, everyone! Enjoying a good visit with family. :) Have a great week!

    Karen

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  19. I often take a day away and come back with fresh eyes, it works well for me. Hope you have a wonderful time with family.

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  20. Have a wonderful break with your Dad!

    I have a tough time letting things go to my critique partner. I have to remember the reason I have a critique partner is that she can help me fix the rough spots.

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  21. Have a good break Karen and a good visit with your dad!!

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  22. Hi Karen .. I haven't been there - but The End .. must be a wonderful feeling ..

    Have a magical time with your father ... enjoy lots of things together .. cheers Hilary

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  23. I saw that cartoon on facebook too, this week. I know exactly which one you mean.

    And I know the feeling of wishing I could look over my submission 'one more time.' I recently sent off a comp entry with those sentiments in full force.

    Boy... pressing that send button, so final!

    Blessings for a wonderful weekend,
    Dotti xx

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  24. These are all helpful steps in getting there.

    Enjoy your Dad Visit!

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  25. hope you are enjoying your time with your dad!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  26. "Anything worth doing is worth doing imperfectly." That quote, from whom I can't remember, has calmed me several times when I felt something needed endless tweeking.

    Since we know we can't be perfect writers, it is best that we accept it now.

    Good post!

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  27. Thanks for the wise words and enjoy your time with your family and Dad.

    Nas

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  28. What you've said is so necessary for writers to grasp. I've found sometimes tweaking doesn't do a bit of good because many editors will have you change things to their liking anyway. Enjoy Dad!

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  29. Thanks, all! Hope you are enjoying your week! :)

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  30. Ha, I struggle with "calling it done" all the time. Letting my work rest is the first step I take to keep from pouring over my words again, and I also bring in my critique partner. My critique partner sees things I miss no matter how many times I read and reread my pieces. Overanalysis equals paralysis, so we need to break out of that by creating our own deadlines, as you mentioned.

    Fun post! Have a great time with your dad. :-)

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!