During March I swept aside doubt and decided to revise an old manuscript one last time. It has something to do with my belief that the MC’s story should be told. Whilst being plopped into a fictional setting, the nucleus of his story is factual.
There are times, however, when focusing on a message can cause the demise of a novel. I know this but I’m persevering anyway. It’s one of those things that will niggle at me indefinitely if I don’t obey the impulse.
I don’t think it’s perfectionism or fear that has kept me from sending this story out into the world although my daughter, Shari Green’s recent post on creativity and perfectionism gives me reason to question my rationale. Shari says,
“I think fear is at the heart of perfectionism. Fear of failure, of not being good enough. Fear of disapproval. Fear of disappointing others or self. But when it comes to creative endeavours, here’s the thing: perfectionism kills creativity.”
At Tricia Sutton’s blog today I discovered she’s pushing herself out of her comfort zone with a manuscript, too, and her words hit another nerve:
“I didn’t really begin the query process. I got scared. Then I misinterpreted fear for “not ready”. I told myself fear is my inner voice telling me to revise … again. And again.”
There comes a time when we have to have faith that what we’re doing is worthwhile, that if we’ve enlisted God’s help he will guide us in writing, refining and recognizing when the time is right to proceed. At that point we’ll know if it’s time to either move our writing out into the world or move on with something else.
At the moment I’m slogging through the swampy place between fear and faith. I wish the fog would dissipate so I could see with clarity.
How about you? What holds you back? Is it fear, procrastination, uncertainty? Or is your manuscript simply not ready?