Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Does Done Mean Done?

I’ve reached a point where I seriously need to think about what’s worse: starting a project or finishing it.

Starting offers that long exhausting climb ahead and you have no idea if you’ll have the energy, time, and talent to finish it all. You have hours and hours of plugging along, revising, changing, trashing, rewriting, honing. It’s all there in front of you and it’s hard not to realize that inaction is so much easier than action.

Yet, you make it through. Somehow.

And then when you finish, comes the question: Are you really done?

It’s the fear of that one little mistake. The need for perfection drives you to read it through one more time. Even though by this time, you’re at the point where you really can’t tell anymore: Is it good? Is it bad?

Announcement: I’ve finished editing  Based on a True Story: Family and Childhood.

Well, by “finished editing” I mean it’s possibly done, but I have no idea if it’s actually done because I’m terrified that something is wrong or I’ve missed a major error or that the whole idea is idiotic to the point of being embarrassing.

I think that last outcome would be the worst case. I could live with a couple of typos – you can find those in almost any book. But what if this collection doesn’t make sense to anyone? What if my clever collection of memories that slowly fit together to create a big detailed picture is actually be a bunch of disconnected fractals that add up to nothing?

Damn, that would suck.

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