This week, I finished (BAHAHAHA, oh, ahhahah, excuse me *cough, cough* ) revisions on my manuscript.
And by finished, I mean I finished going through a last comb-through edit for passive language, clunky sentences, etc. Now, I'm working on upping the anty in my ending scene, fixing a middle scene which my husband pointed out needs fixing (bless him), and sending it to betas, and editing it again myself.
Thinking about this whole process today, I have to admit, I started to get discouraged. Looking at my book, I found myself thinking "will it EVER be good enough?"
After thinking this, I had a couple of epiphanies, I'd like to share:
1) I'm the one judging myself most harshly. I am asking if it will ever be good enough to please ME. Not if it's as good as I can get it, but if it's good enough by my impossible standards.
2) To be "good enough for me" I would have to concentrate hard enough to instantly become George R. R. Martin.
3) I'm never going to instantly become George R. R. Martin just by willing it to be so.
4) I want each book I write to be my absolute best possible work in that moment. And then I want my next book to kick that book's ass.
In conclusion, no my work will never be good enough for me because I'm the kind of person who always wants to be better. I will do my absolute best on everything I write, but when it gets to that point where I can't do any more, I have to let it go.
I realized, too, that I'm proud of what I've done with LEGACY OF THE EMPRESS. Sure it's not George R. R. Martin, but it's me. And maybe that's a very good thing. I like to think that it is :).
Now it's time to do another once-over (or twice-over), and believe in my book and what I've accomplished.
I think, too, that those of us who are unsatisfied with our level of work (even though it's our best) are the ones who are going to continue to improve over the decades, getting better and better with each novel. That's going to separate the good writers from the great.
I want to be great. I want every novel to be as close to perfect as possible, and then one-up myself next time.
What do you guys want? What are you going to do to get it?
How was your week? :D