I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Choo-choo!!!

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.

 


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16 thoughts on “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Choo-choo!!!

  1. Procrastination, that’s a very interesting way of looking at it.

    But don’t be too hard on yourself for, errr, being hard on yourself! He he 😉 I think it’s a very good quality you have-you take pride in your work and you are not like some (self-published) authors I’ve come across who are so eager to finish and only after a second draft, they release it to the world. Complete with errors and all!
    You are not only thinking of yourself but your readers as well, which is a good thing. But I’m glad you’re making progress. Can’t wait to see the final product! 🙂

    • thanks, Nisha!

      I am definitely thinking of my reader at the stage I’m at now! I can’t imagine 2 drafts. Has to be easily over 10, easily.

      I hope you’ll get to read it as well! Who knows, one day I might actually be finished. lol

  2. Glad to hear your new approaching is working. Sometimes it’s so difficult to move ahead.
    I do find that some of my best ideas come to me while I’m doing something else. It actually happened today, got me through a chapter I’d been struggling with. Now if only I could finish telling the darn story. 😉

    • HI Laura, so happy to hear you are moving forward!

      I know exactly what you mean — writing for me doesn’t ever really turn off, and it’s certainly not only about the time we spend actually at the computer. The wheels are constantly churning no matter what’s going on.

  3. “Sometimes, perfectionism is just another form of procrastination.”
    Yes, absolutely! It’s good to be contemplative and to have high standards, but at some point you have to finish the story! (Lecturing myself here . . . :)) I’m very happy to hear things are progressing so well in your novel and that you’re enjoying and benefiting from your new technique. How we write . . . It’s always changing, isn’t it?

  4. I don’t know how many times I have gotten bogged down in a project, sometimes to the point of tossing it aside only to come back and pick it up at a later date and think, Not to bad. I understand the dilema and hope your new approach continues to work for you.

    Tim

    • Thanks Tim, so far so good. Once it’s beta read, I’m sure there will be re-writes so it just makes sense for now.

      I know what you mean about stepping away & coming back with new perspective–very beneficial.

      Sent from my iPhone

    • Hi Tracy, and welcome 🙂
      I hadn’t heard of this particular craft on writing–thanks for mentioning it. I just looked it up and it gets great reviews! I love finding new books on writing.
      Thanks for adding my link to your blog, I’ll do the same 🙂

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