There’s a point with every creative endeavour when you have to know when to stop. I’m getting better at looking with fresh eyes, especially when a manuscript has been put away in the proving drawer for a few months, but I have to fight the urge to make the tiniest adjustments. It could make all the difference in the world if I was contemplating a bunjee jump. I am not convinced it’s so critical with draft revisions at the final stage. The feel of a book is subjective alchemy and probably needs to be moulded to suit the publishing house’s list when we’re lucky enough to secure a bite.
With a book there comes a point when eyes that are detached from the original creative process need to take a look. Be prepared to give the piece a long, meaningful stare. Decide on it’s strengths and weaknesses.
I’m hoping that I’m not deluding myself; that I’m staying the right side of change for changes sake. I’m wondering what’s driving this revision once more tendency in me though. It isn’t a fear of finishing or failure. In both cases we are close, intimate friends. We tolerate rather than admire each others’ foibles it has to be said.
It’s not perfectionism. Having been brought into the world by two souls tortured by that affliction I’ve been in active recovery since I was around fourteen.
I think it may be an old tape of not wanting to let the people down that have believed in me so much in recent years.
I’m aware of a growing excitement too as I complete my final pass of the script. In amongst my insecurities and anxieties is a genuine delight in the creative process. An urgent desire to pinch myself that this is possible. Happening to me.
There can be fewer greater privileges than to tell stories. It is the stuff that binds us to each other and helps us understand.