Telling the Truth…

I’ve avoided doing one of these for a while – not because I have anything to hide. Or because I don’t tell the truth. Or because…of whatever. I just was never certain how I would write it…

Which leads me to my confession of the day.

I AM A FREAK PERFECTIONIST!!!

No – really; a serious perfectionist.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “No way!  Not you. You’re posts have typos, etc. They are far from perfect.”

But, trust me – I am.

While it’s true, my posts and comments will have some grammar stuff going on from time to time, I am a true perfectionist. Not about grammar, not in the OCD, the mugs must all face the same direction kind of way either (although since we are being honest, I do alphabetize my spices, and I do color code my closet)…

I am a perfectionist when it comes down to how others perceive me…I hate disappointing someone. HATE IT!

I am also a perfectionist when it comes to my writing, at least in terms of content. No one is a harsher judge of my work than I am. So, when I get crits back – when they bleed red (which they frequently do because I have the greatest crit buds on the planet), I freak.

But not for  the normal reasons –

not because the writing “isn’t there yet”,

not because the reader “didn’t get what I was trying to say”.

My reasons are freakier (is that a word???)…

I freak out because I wasted so much of my crit partner’s time. Because it wasn’t good enough BEFORE I gave it to them.

I know, I know….

BIZARRE!

Over the last 18 months I have really had to learn what a process writing is. Even now, with a book contract in hand, I am freaking out (obsessing is probably more accurate) over what my editor is going to think next week when I send her the ms…Will it be good enough? Will I have made her work too hard as well?

It’s enough to make me hang up my pen….or at least lose sleep.

So, what are you hangups?  Lay it on me this Truthful Thursday!

And PS – Be sure to check out the Fiction Friday prompt this week…TOO MUCH FUN!  Check back tomorrow for myattempt….and trust me, given my perfectionism thing…these are HARD for me.

6 thoughts on “Telling the Truth…

  1. Oh seriously, we were separated at birth! My spices, my movies, my CDs, my books…all organized by genre or category and alphabetized – and I do the EXACT same thing when I send my stuff out to my crit buddies. Agonize over whether or not it was good enough to send, whether I had revised enough if it’s a second run-through, and I am mortified when it comes back with simple mistakes marked, like a wrong word or missing comma – and I seriously freak when the same mistakes I make over and over again are highlighted AGAIN because I don’t know how that happens when I am so focused on NOT making the same dumb mistake.

    But, like you said, I’ve learned so much since I started this crazy ride. I try not to get so caught up in my mistakes and try to focus on learning from them and realizing that mistakes are going to happen no matter how paranoid and OCD, er, I mean, diligent and focused, I am😉

    I think sometimes we just need to calm down and allow ourselves to screw up gracefully. Mistakes happen, we aren’t perfect no matter how hard we try – and no one cares but us🙂 My goal for my next WIP is just to try and relax and enjoy the process instead of being so intense about it. Hopefully I’ll learn more and stress less🙂

  2. Once again, I’m convinced that you and I were etched from the same stone. When you talk about wasting people’s time, I’m thinking about the issue with my query.

    BTW: I laughed when I read your comment about the mugs being the same way. That is my husband.🙂

  3. I hear you! I think the “perfectionist” in me is preventing me from editing again. I want to do things “just right,” but then it takes like an hour to write one page! ACK! Will have to relax and trust myself. Thanks for writing about this. Validation helps me feel better, LOL!

    Um, I color code my closet too–it’s pretty.😉

  4. Dude, I so feel this. I know exactly what you mean. I found myself writing this apology email to a friend the other day who was reading my book. It went something like this, “I swear I don’t suck. I swear I’m a good writer. I really can put a story together and well, you’re just the first reader, and…”

    Yeah. Perfectionism? Feeling guilty for not having it right the first time? Yes. Yes.

    *hugs* It’s part of the adventure of life.

  5. (((((hugs!!!)))))

    This proves you’re just like all the rest of us: CRAZY!😉

    But seriously, we all feel this way, and it’s always silly and not at all how our betas feel. We beta readers love being able to help! It’s a blessing to be part of your journey🙂. I hope my betas feel the same way… (cue paranoia!)

  6. I do a lot of therapy with people, and if I had you in my office I’d give you leading sentences to finish. They’d lead you up to the lie you believe about yourself, and then leave you with a decision as to what you are going to do with that lie. So for the benefit of your readers, here are some unfinished sentences:
    If everything is not perfect then I feel . . .
    I feel afraid because . . .
    If I’ve failed then . . .
    If I’m a loser then people won’t . . .
    And they’d be right because I’m really not and never will be . . .

    Sometimes the root cause is a fear of the unknown, or the fear of being unlovable, or the fear of someone dying if you mess up, or anything, really. All the lies come during childhood and they are based on the child’s experiences and how they put two and two together.

    Perfectionism is a great thing most of the time, but when other people are badly treated just to ensure perfection is acquired, it’s not quite so healthy. Fortunately writers have a lone-ranger kind of job, but we should have a disclaimer at the end of all our articles and queries:

    *No relatives or friends were harmed in the perfecting of this content.

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