I want to play hookie…with my new WIP that is. I have been stuck in an editing foxhole for months now on my current WIP and really I am getting fed up with myself. I have a problem. I am a perfectionist and I cannot stop myself editing and editing and editing… Is there a perfectionist anonymous group out there or an editing anonymous group? Maybe there should be! There could be a 13 step recovery process…OH and I detest synopsis writing! Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with the editing process or with a perfectionist gene?
One of the first steps of curing a problem and recovering from it is in accepting the problem and admitting that you have a problem.
Confession: I am a Perfectionist and my problem is that once I start looking for errors and editing…I cannot stop.
I have no idea if there is a group called Perfectionist Anonymous but I have decided that writers like me desperately need a group like this for recovering editing addicts. We need an intervention and we need people we can call when the urge to continue editing ad infinitum hits us. It is a quagmire of sinking sand that sucks us in even as we try to clamber out. The more we struggle against it, the deeper we sink.
So every recovery program and intervention has a step by step list of dos and don’ts in the steps to becoming cured. So I have come up with a 13 step recovery program for all writers who suffer from Editorix Perfectionist.
13 Steps to Overcoming Editorix Perfectionism
- Say the Words: I am a Perfectionist and suffer from perfectionism – the neurotic need to find error and fault and correct and recorrect and still recorrect.
- Ask for an intervention to be held by more saner individuals than your neurotic self.
- Step away from the manuscript, now on it’s umpteenth draft.
- Close the folder entitled WIP – Nth edit.
- Repeat to yourself ” Perfectionism is a sly form of Procrastination” – stick this note on every available surface.
- Type “The End” on current Nth draft of WIP – and mean it.
- Hide all red pens, correction fluid and erasers.
- You are a writer not an editor. You have no sane moments nor objective moments when it comes to your WIP. Doctors are not allowed to treat their own family members so writers should not be allowed to edit their own works without assistance and intervention.
- The first edit is allowed, the second edit is treading on dangerous ground and the third edit is an edit gone too far.
- Surround yourself with notes telling you: You are not useless. You do not write rubbish. Your work is fit for more than a trash can – both on the computer desktop and near the desk. Perfectionism is an unattainable myth as it is as the opposite of humanity – since you are a human, you are imperfect anyway – pointless to fight it.
- Surround yourself with critique partners, writing buddies and other writers who know what you struggle against and who know that the writer’s fragile ego is our own worst enemy. Do not be afraid to say you need help before you destroy both your sanity and your manuscript.
- Step away from the edited WIP and take a walk with a notebook. Write down the plot for the next manuscript.
- Begin writing the new manuscript and find refreshment and creative fulfillment in throwing yourself head-first into a creative binge. (No editing allowed at least until You have typed “the End” on the first draft!)
So this week I am going to be closing the editing folder on Ring a Ring o’ Roses (Nth draft). I am submitting the synopsis and query and then I will leave the rest to the fates that be. I am opening my notebook and starting work on The Tattooist. Editor Kim is going away – she had no business being here for so long anyway. Writer Kim is returning. I am a writer. I am not an
Editor. Saner individuals than me become editors, I will stick to what I do best and that is WRITING not EDITING. To be clear I am a recovering not a cured Editorix Perfectionist. This is a continuing struggle.
I am going to do more than play Hookie with The Tattooist. I am going to have a full-blown affair with The Tattooist. The urge to write must take control over the urge to edit. I cannot wait for that delicious feeling of playing hookie and that first blush of the first draft.
Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with the editing process or with a perfectionist gene?
Sign up here _______ if you would like to become a member of Editorix Perfectionism Anonymous.
Excerpts…”I am surrounded by people who kinda believe that life’s messy love it, and I am more the “life’s messy: clean it up, organize it and put in into a pinto box.” [👍 ]
“…lean into the discomfort of the work and I am like, you know, Knock discomfort upside its head and move it over…”
“I want to separate bravery and courage for you for a moment. Courage: The original definition of courage when it first came into the English language; it’s from the latin word “cor” meaning “heart” and the original definition was: is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart…and so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect…”
Writing is that for me…the courage to be imperfect and to be comfortable in my own skin while being naked in my vulnerability. 👌
- Who needs edits? I opt for Brain Surgery instead! (kimkoningink.com)
- Go wandering… Get lost a little… (kimkoningink.com)
- Perfectionism and Shitty First Drafts (thedailycreativewriter.wordpress.com)
- 5 Steps You Need to Follow to Snap out of Your Perfectionist State and Be More Productive (zemanta.com)
- Jumping the Gun? (darcknyt.wordpress.com)
- The Price of Perfectionism (donhall.blogspot.com)
- Am I a Professional Mistake-Maker or an Amateur Perfectionist? (jessicaschaubbooks.com)
- “Vulnerability is not weakness… vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” ~ Brene Brown (interactivethoughts.wordpress.com)
- The Origins of Perfection (michelewhitney.wordpress.com)
- Brene Brown Displays (Extra) Ordinary Courage (thecarrotseeddotcom.wordpress.com)
- The Flip,Ugly, & Dark Side Of My Fear (freetobecourageous.wordpress.com)
- Brene Brown: Have the courage to be imperfect. (lisalorrainesempireavenue.wordpress.com)
- Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change: Brené Brown at TED2012 (ted.com)
- Procrastination or is it vulnerability? (trudisutcliffe.wordpress.com)
- Vulnerability: The Only Way Out (freetobecourageous.wordpress.com)
- The Gifts of Imperfection – A Post (notperfectme.com)