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! :)
Top Image Credit: Stock Exchange/Billy Frank Alexander