Monday, June 1, 2009

The Laundry Race!

Just like my laundry dilemmas, my writing is a race.

Will I get this ready or that ready for the next conference? Will I ever reach the end of the to-do pile that remarkably grows all the time, just like my laundry pile? The more I learn of the craft, just like the more clothing accumulated in our household, the more work there is to be done it seems.

Unlike laundry, though, we may never see the end of the pile of the writing chores because it's infinitely more important to keep learning and growing in this craft than the simple laundry task will ever pose, even if your laundry machine decides to stump you with a F22 flashing error code for deciphering. This too is conquerable. But I'm convinced that I'll never know it all when it comes to writing and will always have reason to go back and revise once more. It's like a sideways figure eight. You could retrace it forever without ever lifting pen from paper. An infinite number of times you could draw that sign, just like an infinitel number of revisions can take place.

For those who are published out there, I have to ask, do you ever wish you'd just known "this or that" before your book went into print so you could have made it even better? And for those who aren't published, when do you truly finish a manuscript? Let it go? Deem it "the best it's ever going to be"? Ever?

Surrendering to Him,



Erica Vetsch said...

Yes, to the wish I'd known that, and the book isn't even out yet. But I have to remind myself that I did the best I could with what I knew at the time, and strive to make the next book better.

In a way, it's encouraging though. How sad if we reached our peak in writing and all our work from that point on was the same in quality, in insight, in skill.

Jill Kemerer said...

The longer I do this, the more I realize there will always be something to learn. There will always be another skill to hone, to master.

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh my goodnes, it's just like the laundry. LOL Except a little more fun.
Um, when is the manuscript done? I don't know. I think I give myself a certain amount of times to go over it and then I have to send it out, or I'll never stop revising. Like you said, there's always something we could change or "fix". At some point the manuscript has to be tried. If it fails after, say, ten queries to agents, then the query might need to be worked on. If fulls are getting rejected, then you know what to work on. I just can't play with a story forever, personally. LOL Too impatient. :-)

Jody Hedlund said...

I'm hoping that I can always keep learning. James Scott Bell in his Revisions book says that even published authors should continue setting goals for themselves, and should continue growing and learning. So, we're never too good to keep improving in some area!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I certainly hope I don't wish that I could have done something different by the time my book goes to the printer. But I realize I might feel that way after the book comes out because writing IS such a learning process. I am simply going to try to do my best at this point and put my focus on reaching people with the book afterwards.

Jennifer Shirk said...

LOL! My laundry pile is exactly like my writing "to do" list.

One of my friends who is mulit-published with a big NY publisher was giving a seminar once and reading an excerpt from one of her books and she was actually changing it and editng it as she was reading it, which cracked me up!
So I don't think when you're published you're ever going to be completely satisfied with your own work. LOL!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm with Jennifer on all counts. My laundry is a nightmare. We have what we call "laundry mountain" up in our bedroom at all times. :D

Great questions...when is done, done?

For me I think once it is snatched up for publication and the words are going to answer.
~ Wendy

Katie Ganshert said...

This is exactly what I'm struggling with right now! I've written three novels... one just recently finished. So I have a lot of revisions to do for this. But for my other two - I keep going back to them with everything I learn and it feels like I've revised them both a million times over! I'm hoping to finish final revisions for all three this summer and just let them be and move forward. I could revise and revise until I'm blue in the face, that's for sure!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Wow...there is sooo much to learn, isn't there? Some days it is just overwhelming. (just like the laundry mountain!) :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Yes! I've had things published and then wished I'd made them better but there comes the time to send it out! We can drive ourselves nuts with the wondering if it is our best!