Sorry, I’ve probably stuck the song from ‘Frozen’ into your head, now. But that’s not what this is about. It’s about how hard it is to hit the enter button when you’re done with that story or book. Well, it is for me, anyway.
It took me about three weeks after telling my writer’s group that I was done with my novel, to finally post it for them to read. I checked it, double checked it, triple checked it and…okay, you get the picture. It had to be right. Spelling and punctuation. And did I spell that character’s name the same way every time I used it? I had to check, again. And now that I was reading it once more, I wasn’t so sure that I liked that conversation between two of the main players in the book. Maybe I should change that, I thought. And I wonder if I should rethink that ending…
Oh man! That can go on forever if you let it. And I was about to let it. I had already been writing that thing for three years. Enough, already! Let it go!
I’m sure there are plenty of writers, out there, who finish the piece and kick it out the door. Five minutes later they are already working on the next one. That just takes more confidence then I have, at the present moment. Maybe I’ll be there, someday. I’ll write “The End,” and off it will go. “If people don’t like the ending, the hell with ‘em,” I’ll say as I spit into my spittoon and wipe my mouth with the back of my hand. Then I’ll confidently begin to bang out the next book.
But right now I can give myself a headache agonizing over it all. Is this the correct word to use? Maybe I should change that character’s name. Should that scene happen inside the house or outside? Nothing is too minor to worry about. It causes me to take a long time to finish anything. And, admittedly, sometimes not finish. I’m too much of a perfectionist.
And it doesn’t have to be perfect. Not right away, anyway. It just has to be finished. Working out the bugs is what the beta readers are for. And, of course, editors. I know all this and yet it’s just that, as I’m writing, I’m aware of the fact that the words I’m typing are what people will judge me on. Those words will be who I am. They are all that the reader will know about me. I’ll be judged a genius or a complete dumbass according to the words on those pages. Maybe that’s what a lot of us are afraid of. Maybe that’s why a lot of people who want to write, don’t. They are scared that people will think they are dumbasses. It takes a little courage to put yourself out there.
But, I’m doing it. My finger may be trembling as I press the enter button, but I press it. Yes, I do it after checking, double checking, triple checking, etc…Hopefully, with time, I’ll just hit that button with confidence and let it go.
I don’t really spit and I actually don’t own a spittoon.