In the Name of the Author, the Editor, and the Almighty Publisher…Please Let Me Call This Work Finished

After I spotted a serious problem with my novella, I went back to rework some of the scenes even though I had boldly declared the work “finished” months ago. Since then, I’ve been tweaking out on it every moment that I have to devote to writing (is ‘tweaking out’ a universal term? Having lived for so long in one of the methamphetamine capitals of the U.S., it sort of just became a common term for paying strict attention to detail).

All this week I’ve been getting up at 6am, approximately30-45 minutes earlier than I have to get up for work, to devote some time to fixing the scenes and plot points that need tweaking. To people who only know me from this blog and don’t know me personally, that’s a HUGE deal. I’ve always been able to get up  as early as need be for work, but anything other than that is nearly impossible. For a while in my twenties, when I was at my physical peak, I would get up super early to go for a run, but that was almost like another life.

That’s how badly I want to get this finished. I want to move on. I have the rough draft of (what may or may not turn out to be long enough to be) my novel sitting, waiting for me. Although, truth be told, I haven’t had any real ‘a-ha!’ moments on what to do with that yet. I’ve submitted my other novella to a publisher, and I submitted a short story to a website for consideration, so fingers crossed on those.

What’s somewhat ironic to me is that this novella I’m trying to fix once and for all has been like The Work That Will Not Die. I’ve rewritten and reworked the story several times, and every time I think it’s done I find something else wrong. Novella # 2 wasn’t like that. It flew out of my head and into the computer in mere weeks, and I barely changed a thing in terms of the plot or characters. The rough draft was pretty much complete. It was practically effortless in comparison.

Has anyone else had a project like that, where you just keep thinking it’s done only to find ‘one more thing’ wrong with it? Is it something that can be chalked up to being a perfectionist, or is it some sort of odd attachment issue I have that keeps me from letting go?

Published by Kenneth Jobe

Kenneth Jobe is a writer, photographer, musician, and Native Californian living in the Midwest with his wife and son. His fiction has been published in Jitter, The Rusty Nail, Ghostlight: The Magazine of Terror, and the horror anthology Robbed of Sleep, Volume 2.

3 thoughts on “In the Name of the Author, the Editor, and the Almighty Publisher…Please Let Me Call This Work Finished

  1. I have this story I’ve been working on for years now. I really feel like I should finish it sooner or later, but I keep findings things that just aren’t good enough. I keep editing and rewriting, but if I look at it a few weeks later, I still find flaws… I’m a perfectionist at heart, and it’s very hard for me to write something I really really like (even though others claim over and over again that my work is great)… So yeah, I know the feeling of editing and rewriting several times. Being a perfectionist certainly has to do something with it, I guess ^^

    1. What’s kind of ironic is that in most other aspects of my life I’m decidedly NOT a perfectionist. I actually do a lot of things half-assed. I guess that’s a sign how much my writing means to me.

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