Week 11 – The Struggles of Writing and Being a Perfectionist


Current projects

I always want things to be perfect even though perfect doesn’t exist. It’s kind of a good and bad thing. It’s good because I’m constantly improving. It’s bad because sometimes I get stuck instead.

If you’re a perfectionist, I think you’ll relate to what I’m saying. Hopefully I’ll be able to say something today that’ll help you, too.

All right. So last week I didn’t have great word counts, right? Well, this week is worse. HAH.

Last week I also said I’m working on paperback books. That means reformatting things. It also means I’ve gone on a must-edit-all-books-again kick.

Okay. So here’s where things get weird. I’m not doing major edits, because I’ve managed to convince myself that that isn’t time effective or necessary. The first book we publish compared to our most recent… Well, there’s going to be a big difference.

Why am I going through with another proofread for all of my books then? That’s the thing. It’s probably not necessary. But I’m still doing it.

Why?

I think I’ve learned a lot about clarity and the English language in general since my first book. I guess part of it is to analyze how far I’ve come, but I can’t help but change very minor things as I go. Most people likely won’t notice the things I’m changing because they are so minor. I’m not changing story elements or how I presented any of my stories. It’s all cosmetic.

Fine. So I’m letting myself do this to make sure my stories can be read without stumbling. Yes, even books that have been through edit after edit manage to keep a clunky sentence. That’s because nothing is perfect. Even with another proofread.

Since I’ve gone indie with all of my current books, I can technically change them all I want whenever I want and forever. If they were traditional, this wouldn’t be the case. That means I have to have even more self-discipline when it comes to my perfectionist brain getting out of hand.

Okay. So I successfully talked myself out of doing major changes to my books. That’s good. But I wasn’t able to talk myself out of these little changes for clarity and ease-of-reading.

That’s also fine IF I put it in its proper place.

I need paperbacks for my platform. It’s something that needs to get done, but if I’m going to go through all my books again, there’s no point in formatting and creating them until these minor edits have been applied to my manuscripts.

So, I’ll dedicate work time to it, but I’ll make sure to get writing in as well–which I’ve managed to do so far. WHICH IS GOOD. Then, once I’ve done it and these paperbacks are formatted, that’s it. I don’t get to touch these books again. I have to treat them as if they were traditionally published in that sense.

To combat going through this again in the future, I’ve added another round of editing to my book production checklist. With that, I told myself I don’t get to do this again. Period.

When you’re a perfectionist, sometimes you just have to know when to make yourself stop.

Queen of Werewolves – The Lost Princess of Howling Sky Book 3

I hit 4,753 for Queen of Werewolves this week. Not much, but steady progress all the same. I have seven scenes left. There’s lots of editing to be done, but I am so happy with this book already. I feel it’s the ending this series deserves. I’d gush, but spoilers. I’ll have to gush after its released.

Once Soulmates – These Immortal Vows Book 3

I hit 2,949 for Once Soulmates, and that means I’m halfway through the first draft! Honestly, I never thought this day would come. I’ve started and stopped two series, this one and The Soul Seer Saga, because of sales. I’m glad I’ve found a happy medium between writing commercial books and books I just want to write.

This, however, is why it’s important to have clear goals. And goals change. When I wrote The Wandering Empath, I just wanted to publish a book. Then I learned I loved the hell out of writing/storytelling and had to find a way to make it my job.

Also, back to my proofreading madness, I’m going through Demon Snare, the first book in These Immortal Vows. I have to say, outlining pays off for me. Big time. I have all these threads and things that are in the first book that tie into later books, and it’s good. I love that.

This series wouldn’t have been possible for me without the damn huge outline and timeline it has. It’s my most complicated series to date. It’s also my longest. It also might be my favorite.

Conclusion

Don’t let your perfectionist run wild or you’ll never get anything done.

I will continue to do my best to improve, but there is a time to finish a project and move on to the next. You’ll have to decide when that time is when you’re the one in charge. Do your best, but don’t let your perfectionist stop you from moving forward.

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