When is enough enough?

I always had the image of reading my published book and think, “I should have put this in there,” or “I should have taken that out.” As I sit here now, proofing my story, I wonder, will I ever be done?

I know a lot of writers have that thought and they say to just do your best, have others read it and then just stop. I CAN’T! Since the time when I thought I was DONE, I have revised it at least four times, currently working on the fifth. “This needs to be added,” one says. “You need to do something about this character, I hate her!” said another. And though I appreciate everyone’s opinions and advice, when can I say that I truly am and forever will be done with this thing? I want to have it good, I want everything that I want to say shine but I’m getting tired and a little disgruntled. When can I finally say, “Here. I’m Done. Do you wanna publish it?” And then the begging starts…

I just don’t think I can read it again. Going through page by page, finding points to add and subtract, oh god I’m getting sick of it. And yes, I’ve already put it down for a few months to just come back to it finding that I’m still sick of it! Get it out of my house already!! I used to feel this way when I would near the end of a term paper. I love writing term papers, too. But after a while, after reading it 500 times, the writer just wants it to be done so that they can move on to the next project.

Perhaps that is my case. I have a 200 page story calling to me, reminding me that it is incubating, waiting for me to return to it, to love it and care for it as I have with the first one. Sorry, Engine Driver, you’re going to have to wait a little while longer. Mama’s got some work to finish.

Poor thing. Now I know how a middle child feels.

I always view my pieces, words and art a like, as my children. You have the gestation period, the birthing period and the raising period. This, I think, is a lot less painful than the real thing. (I’ll let you know after I receive my next batch of rejection letters.) So Idlewilde is about ready to go off on her own, to make her own mark in the world, while there is a little sister waiting for mama to return and finish raising her. Perhaps I have done all I can with the big sister.

I could impose a timeline, but those things rarely work with me. Especially if I have to wait on other people to get back to me when I’ve asked them to read my work. (Hint hint, nudge nudge, JEN!)It’s not that I’m impatient, I’m just excited. Now, however, I think I’m just done. Or at least really really want to be done. I thought last December was going to be my time, especially with the snow, but I will take the coming months into consideration, re-evaluate my planning and advise my horoscope to find a new month to center on queries.

Baby has got to start living on her own. I’m feeling the strong tug at the hem of my skirt.

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2 responses to “When is enough enough?

  1. So appreciate the thoughts you’ve expressed here. As a ceramist and painter, my “am I finished” point often comes when I just can’t stand it any more! I had a friend who was also a ceramist, and she would stand back from her work while glazing it and say, “Mimi, am I finished?” I think we all know the feeling….trouble is, WE’RE not finished, as we are becoming a renewed artist each day of our lives, so it’s little wonder that we’re not sure when our current expression is finished, either….

  2. So true, Mimi!! Thanks for the thoughts! 😀

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