Ever written a manuscript and put it in a drawer or hard drive, never to be seen again?
That’s what I thought I did for a YA fantasy duology. They’ve been sitting in a hard drive (and the back of my mind) for years. I loved writing them, loved what happened to the characters and also what I learnt from them as both a young woman and as a writer. I thought that was the end of it. An apprentice writer’s journey, so to speak.
But at a loved one’s insistence, they’re being dragged out of abyss. It’s going to take months and months of editing, some heavy redrafting, and a few second thoughts. And then they’re going out into the world. In what format, I don’t know yet.
But I’m excited.
I’m not doing this because I think the storyline is a stroke of literary genius. It really isn’t. But I’ve worked for years on improving my writing. I’ve done the courses, been to the lectures, taken on the workshops, even studied in the humanities to get a better understanding of life in general. I’ve worked as an editor, and written countless press releases, technical pieces and corporate drivel. But I’ve never published something that really mattered to me.
Why? Because I’m waiting for perfection. Only when I have all of the skills, written the best sentences, created the most startling plots, developed amazing characters and so forth, will I be ready to publish my work.
As my loved one kindly pointed out, however, perfection ain’t ever going to live here. But a bit of writerly satisfaction and success can.
So, that’s what I’m working towards.
It doesn’t mean that my current manuscript is being put aside. On the contrary, I’m investing even more time into it every day. I’ve committed to a July 31st redraft deadline in order to give it to my writers group in Melbourne. It’ll happen, and I can’t wait.
In the meantime, I’ll keep doing my best—which is something far more satisfying than perfection.