Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wicked Wednesday - pleasing the perfectionist


I confess, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. When it comes to certain things, my standards are sky high. This makes me my own worst boss when it comes to writing full-time.

Last week, I was struggling with my WIP. But I pushed through and finished it. The first draft of the first book of the Totem series is done. (Yes, you might notice I even have a name for the series too! No more BS!)

It has to be the roughest rough draft I've ever written. Because I am a perfectionist, it stresses me out. Only in the past few years have I come to accept that my first drafts aren't going to be brilliant. Rewriting does make a good story better. Rewriting again makes it shine even more. Polish, polish, polish until the perfectionist in me is pleased.

My high standards do stress me out, but they also push me forward. I am tenacious. I won't give up on my dreams.

Once upon a time, that dream was to be the next Stephen King. Now I want to be the first Christine Rains. My journey is different from King's and I will savor every step of it. (But, you know, if I happen to end up the next Stephen King, I won't complain!)

Hold yourself to high standards and push yourself to be better. You deserve it.

25 comments:

  1. Hi Christine - love the fact 'you're going to be the first Chistine Rains' - that will push you forward ... love the artist at work - well done on completing the WIP - cheers Hilary

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  2. Congrats on finally coming up with a title! :)

    I can relate so well to the stress of being a perfectionist. I never feel like I meet my own standards, and...well, it depresses me a lot.

    Also, being the first Christine Rains sounds a lot more fulfilling than being the next Stephen King. It's hard to stand out when your work and journey completely match someone else's, after all!

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  3. The first draft is painful to get through. But the best thing is to get it out so you can shape it into the story it can become. I'm really starting to like the rewriting stages so much more. Best of luck!

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  4. I'm a perfectionist as well, so I know how you feel.
    As an author, I want to be the best me, whatever that might be.

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  5. Two of my four novella rough drafts are a bit of a mess right now. I was working on one of them last night and thought holy cow, this is going to take some work.

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  6. Great post! I love the part about King.

    And I hear you about being a perfectionist. I agree about it pushing us to be our best, but I'm also struggling with the idea that if I don't let a lot of that go, I'll never do anything, write anything, create anything because it won't be "perfect."

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  7. Couldn't agree more. The world already has a Steven King. It doesn't have another you.

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  8. Great message, and love your attitude about being the first Christine Rains. We don't need another King. We need a YOU!!!!

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  9. I am right there with you. This last rough draft has been stressing me to all extremes, but I finally reconciled with the fact that I don't need to have a perfect story on the first go. In fact, I even got excited about writing the next draft.

    Sending cheese to help smooth the bumps.

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  10. Hilary, thanks so much!

    Heather, I know about the depression. I used to fall to it a lot. Now I'm old and don't have time for it! *LOL*

    TBM, maybe I'll eventually come to like the rewriting stage! Thank you.

    Alex, my best me is always growing. Which is a good thing!

    Diane, oh yes, it can be scary!

    Madeline, I struggle with when to let go too, but I have excellent CPs that let me know when.

    Melanie and Randi, right! :)

    Crystal, cheese helps all things. :)

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  11. Oh, you sound so much like me. It's only since I started writing full time that I accepted my first drafts didn't have to be perfect. Now I write faster and those first drafts are usually as bad as I think they are.

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  12. "Once upon a time, that dream was to be the next Stephen King. Now I want to be the first Christine Rains." I LOVE that. That's magnet worthy. Only mine will say, "I wanted to be the next Nicholas Sparks, but I don't have a penis, so I'll just be me." Hmm. I might need to work on that slogan a but ;)

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  13. Fellow perfectionist here too! I think I finally have it in my head that first drafts are NOT perfect. Getting over that hurdle does make writing life much easier.

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  14. There's something to be said about being TOO much of a perfectionist. My desire to have everything perfect has prevented me from sending anything out. For ten plus years. I need to learn to let go a little, but congrats to you for making it work! :)

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  15. You need to have high standards to produce quality work. Yes, it can be frustrating when you haven't reached your standards, but stick with it. Don't compromise!

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  16. Congrats on getting your first draft done! That's a fantastic mile stone. I wish you luck with the revisions. :D

    (And Stephen King had a pretty dark moment in his life when he became famous. I think you're good with being the next Christine Rains.)

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  17. You've been the first Christine Rains since day one! And the stress you put on yourself makes you who you are (and makes your work so good)! Trish - tales from trish

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  18. I've learned to not stress out of my first drafts. I tell myself "That's why I edit." And edit. And edit.

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  19. That's the spirit! You can only be you. Now be the best you there is! :)

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  20. Congratulations on getting your WIP first draft completed. I have a hard time letting go too.

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  21. You are the awesome Christine Rains. Don't forget it. Glad you have a title and finished your first draft. I had a dream mine sucked. My characters said it was better than that. They seem to be right... as I revision. But there were a few rough patches.

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  22. I knew you would do it!
    Congratulations - the rewrite will be more fun!

    Did you try the sleep question? Did it work? LOL

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  23. Love your line about being the first Christine Rains. You're one of the hardest working writers I know. Keep at it. I'd say you're already the first Christine Rains. Good luck as you move forward!

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  24. Its good to have a role model/hero, wanting to "write stories like" a certain author. But gotta be yourself and put your own style to it. Good for you.

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  25. I agree with you on being the next Christine Rains. I want to be the next Misha Gericke. And I am a huge pain in my own ass because I'm much worse on myself compared to people I hire.

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