Writing is hard work. It’s time-consuming, energy-consuming. It’s not the type of work that ever goes away. It can haunt you in the middle of the night, intrude of your thoughts at any time of day — no matter what you are doing. (Kind of like being a mom, if I think about it.)
Sometimes, when I am reading my work, re-writing, editing, I see something that doesn’t quite fit, or doesn’t flow, or doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t, or doesn’t. And sometimes, I think, it’s not major, it really doesn’t matter. Why spend time on it when there are places in my work that really need attention?
This doesn’t last long. Often, the thought is never even completed. I can’t let anything be in my work that I don’t think is the best I can make it today. I can’t coddle myself, and say, ah, you’re right. Even if no one else thinks it can be better – I know it can.
I am coming to terms with the type of writer I am. I will spend a day on a page, adjusting, making it right. And this means progression is slow. And I’m hard on myself. I don’t let anything slide.
That said, I’m trying something new. I am trying to move along in my work, attempting to get myself further in, and not allow myself the indulgence of getting all blurry-eyed over the location of a coma, or whether a paragraph should be spliced, or whether the cadence is just right. I’m pushing myself, altering things quicker, not staring at the words so long, not playing so much. And it’s working. I am progressing faster, and at the same time I am happy with the quality of my work — I don’t find it any less substantial, or weaker at all. I’m still not coddling myself, I’m just being more diligent. I’m glad my patience was yelling at me, telling me to get a move on.
Sometimes, perfectionism is just another form of procrastination.