Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Start to Finish (Part 10 of 10)

Stop. Let go.

When I finished the eighteenth draft of my first article, I knew I couldn’t improve it. Today I could, but that was the best I could do then. An editor or someone else might make it better, or in another year I might have developed my skills enough to make it better. But not then.

To myself I said aloud, "This is the best I can do at this stage of my development." I still repeat those words before I send in a manuscript. It’s my way to let it go.

When you say, "This is the best I can do at this stage of my development," you give yourself permission to stop.

16 comments:

  1. Great post! Do you have critique partners? I have one in NZ and she pointed out slang I was using that I didn't realize was US slang. It was in my vocabulary.

    Blessings, Nancy J Locke

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  2. Wow! 18 drafts! Incredible.

    I echo the question of critique partners. How do you find someone to help critique? Any suggestions?

    Blessings,
    Jodie

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  3. Oops! Forgot to add. I had so hoped to meet you at She Speaks this year, but alas our funds do not permit it. I know many will be blessed through this conference.

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  4. I think I will put this on a sticky note on my desk!

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  5. Thanks for the advice and wisdom!

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  6. I really enjoyed the writer's conference in Pittsburg. One of your comments that really hit home was that you never felt like your writing was good enough. The tip that you shared today is very helpful for that very problem. I can wear myself out with thinking that my work isn't good enough. Thank you again for sharing your wonderful wisdom. I find it very encouraging.

    Blessings,
    Cheri Bunch

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  7. Thank you Cheri, for giving us what Cec had said. I strugle with feeling like my writing is not good enough. I hope that makes me a better writer.

    Cheers,

    Karie Thornock

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  8. Thank you, Cec, for that phrase of release! I, too, seldom feel that my writing is good enough. That can be good if it keeps me working and improving. But that can be bad because I struggle to finish anything. So deadlines and your cogent words are good to have.

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  9. Great advice, Cec. Our job is to put forth our best effort. The rest is up to God.

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  10. Great advice. Problem is, I can't yet honestly say it's my bests, meaning I have more work to do. This is an amazing series. Cec, thanks for taking the time to share.

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  11. Letting go is hard to do. This statement might make it easier.

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  12. I once heard of a kindergarten teacher whose class always had the best pictures in that grade. She was asked how she did it.
    "The secret is in know when to take the picture away", replied the teacher.

    There comes in time in all art when it's time to just let go.

    Thanks,
    Gail P Smith

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  13. I also have the problem of editing a lot. I keep changing and changing to try to make it better. You need to know when to say 'enough is enough' and stop the editing.If we keep writing, we will grow and keep getting better.

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  14. The timing of this post couldn't have been better for me. Thank you Cec and others for your input. I'm about to release my babies to editors and agents I met at the Florida Conference. Yesterday I went through one of those phases: "What on earth makes me think I can write?"
    It's time to stop editing and push them from the nest!

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  15. Thank you Cec and Twila,
    This series has been so helpful. It's so easy for me to keep re-writing, which has become an opportunity for procrastination. Still working to find the off-switch for that infernal internal editor!
    Many blessings,
    Susan

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