I have a very nasty habit of not being able to leave well enough alone. I go back into my work and a professional has edited change a myriad of passages even after my work. Here’s the scenario. My editor will take my manuscript and do an excellent job of cleaning it up, as they should. Once it’s polished and perfected, I should move on to whatever is next. I wish that were my routine. I wish I could stop myself from going back into the file and making what I think are necessary enhancements. If did leave it alone, I wouldn’t be faced with the embarrassment of typos creeping in after I’ve published the damn thing.
So what possesses me to keep defying my editor’s instructions, or even just plain common sense? I believe it’s because I worry that I could have done something smarter, better, more exciting, etc. The truth is, the story is the story and if I’m not confident in what I send the editor, and then I shouldn’t send it until I am sure the story is progressing the way I want.
No one would have egg on their face otherwise, nor would I be demeaning my skills or my editor’s. I have to learn to apply what I do at my 9 to 5 to my writing process at home. I never enjoy having copy sent to me to place into a layout until it’s the absolute final iteration. Why? Because every time I have to go back into the design file to adjust text or graphics, it throws the layout off. It’s a “b” to have to adjust a layout repeatedly. For me at least, having to continually take out portions of text sometimes makes me prone to error because I’m fatigued, and I’ve been looking at the same words repeatedly.
I hate when inconsistencies creep into my writing, but I am the first to admit it is my fault. It’s always best not to be sloppy in my writing and read very carefully. I need to trust my team of beta readers and my editor to do their jobs. Doing so will make the process more exciting and the writing better.