I’m working to finish this novel, but I’m struggling. I had hoped that by setting a self-publishing date and a “must be done” by date, I would kick the self-editing habit, but I seem to be stuck with it forever.
I started with an excellent idea. I mapped it out, wrote notes, and organized all the information that I needed to begin writing. And then I did. I started writing my novel out by hand, and all went well. I was writing for an hour or two at a time, and I thought I was in a groove.
But then I stopped to type it up. A friend offered to give it a read and rather than giving her my hand-written pages, I wanted to provide her with a typed manuscript for ease. I also wanted to ensure that I had an easy way for her to write notes without marking up the pages and making them even more confusing. She gave me great feedback too, and her feedback allowed me to flesh out the story even more.
But I continued to type rather than returning to the manuscript. And that was my mistake. Two chapters in by hand and once I typed it up I couldn’t pull myself away from editing the chapters. I kept editing, and eventually I became discouraged. I went from loving my story to despising it. I went from thinking I had something good to feeling like I should give up writing altogether.
And now, things look bleak. As I wrestle to get these words on the screen, I wonder if I should give up and start over, go back to writing by hand, or walk away for a while and risk missing my deadline.
How do you stop with the self-editing? How do you keep writing despite the urge to go back and change everything?