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Archive for August, 2011

I haven’t blogged in over a year.  I’ve pretty much fallen off the face of the social networking planet.  The handful of times I’ve opened my manuscript, I simply stare blankly at the pages for a while before I get preoccupied with what’s playing in iTunes.  I neglected my writing partners (definitely not one of my finest moments and I apologize to those that were affected by this).  Why?

 

I can name a bunch of reasons that I’ve given myself over the past year or so.  I started my career.  The first real job I’ve ever had.  And it’s hard.  And stressful.  I got married two weeks ago.  Also stressful.  I moved three hours away from my family (with the exception of my husband) and friends for my hard and stressful job.  But there’s really only one reason that I’ve neglected everything writing related.

 

Perfectionism.

 

I’ve battled with perfectionism for a great deal of my life.  I was an A student throughout middle school and high school, graduating with a weighted 4.6 GPA due to the honors, advanced placement, and college classes I took.  I have at least ten projects scattered about my apartment at various stages of completion.  I procrastinate like a maniac because I know that once I get started the anxiety will set in.  Above everything else, I’m scared.  Scared of two little, insignificant words.

 

Finished.  Product.

 

Because once it’s finished, that’s when the judgment comes.  It means I can’t edit anymore.  It means I can’t justify my mistakes. Essentially, it means I’m completely out of my comfort zone.  Because in my eyes, that finished product needs to be perfect.

 

For those of you that have never had to deal with perfectionism, I envy you.  I wish that you never have this kind of experience.  For those that have experienced even one event in their life that perfectionism has taken hold, I empathize with you.  Because
you know how deeply it can affect your life.

 

So why am I writing this?

 

I want to challenge myself.  I want to finish my manuscript.  I want to be able to edit without starting at chapter one every time.  Because chapter one has been edited at least twenty times, while chapter twenty has been edited once.  I want to be able to edit past Chapter 6.  Because Chapter 6 has the most problems of all.  Because Chapter 6 will challenge my writing skills the most.  And I want to grow as a writer.

 

This is my challenge to myself.  I am going to edit at least three times a week.  That is what is realistic for me at this time and I don’t want to set myself up for failure.  I am going to pick up from where I left off, instead of going back to previous chapters.
I am going to post excerpts from edited chapters on this blog to hold myself accountable.  And I am going to let it go when I have edited that final chapter to a beta reader.  Hopefully I haven’t burned all my writing relationships at this point.

 

I have a challenge to anyone that reads this as well.  I challenge you to make a commitment to your writing, whether it’s for the next week, month, year, or manuscript.  Make a commitment to something that you struggle with.  And maybe we can grow together.

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