I don't like the quote, "A book is never finished, it's abandoned." I don't like it, because it's true. I think that if I never sat down at a keyboard and tried to type out a manuscript, I might have been blissfully ignorant of this. But, as most of you know, this isn't my fate. And it's probably not yours either.
Writing brings out in me a horrible obsessive compulsive disorder. And I know that this sounds familiar to all of you. You go back over your manuscript once, twice, three times, a fourth time, an eight time, and a twentieth time.
With each pass, you think, "It's perfect" and then on page 2 you notice an error you somehow missed all the nineteen other times. It's maddening.
And even really good editors don't catch all the mistakes. And your prose could always be tightened, reworded, it seems endlessly.
"It was a dark and stormy night."
"Dark clouds and lightning streaks reduced the night to highlights and shadows."
"A storm rolled in and the night wept under its caress."
And on and on and on and on and on.
You could say the same frickin' thing a million different ways.
And thus, you could rewrite every sentence in your book a million different ways. And one of those might be slightly more perfect than the one that you chose.
This is what happens to me sometimes. So eventually, I abandon my work. But I never stop feeling insecure about it. And of course, the reviewers pick it up and point out things as if they were obvious to anyone with an IQ of 80 with an almost condescending "I'd never have this in my own manuscript" tone to their commentary.
So yeah, I'm insecure about abandoning my books and moving on to other stories. But it needs to be done. If you don't let go, you could spend endless years writing and rewriting and editing things. I think I need to be more like my friend Michelle Davidson Argyle. I need to just be happy when I send the manuscript flying out the door and resist the urge to try and revisit it. Oh writer OCD, how I loathe thee *shakes fist at the screen.
Have a great Wednesday.