If someone held a gun to my head and told me to fill a page with text in the next 30 minutes, I’d be hard pressed to do it.
Would you believe that in my first sentence–, yes, the lead sentence you JUST read–, I made two editorial changes before ending the sentence? Before I could even type the period, I went back and changed the word “write” to “fill” and then I changed the word “in” to “with.” In retrospect, I had no control of my right baby finger as it jutted toward the backspace key to tap-tap-tap away the words without permission from my conscious mind. This reflexive act is as natural to me as using the space bar between sentences.
Clearly, I have a chronic case of the re-edits. I suffer from the “I can’t move forward because I keep looking back” affliction. I believe I keep going back because I try my best to perfect each sentence, paragraph, page and chapter, before I can satisfactorily move on.
When I was young and inexperienced in life and love, I went back to ex-boyfriends–, TWICE. And twice those 2nd-chance relationships didn’t work out. I’m proud to say that it didn’t take me long to learn that the reasons two people break up, still exist when they attempt the relationship again. All the characteristics, habits and idiosyncrasies that tear people apart in the first place, simply get polished up, disguised or packed away for safekeeping. But eventually, all the previous “issues” resurface and the couple usually ends the relationship–again.
I clearly remember the last time an ex-boyfriend wanted to come back to me. Without hesitation, or trepidation, I responded with an indifferent, “No.” It felt good to not give in. In my experience, going back results in nothing but re-hashed unhappiness and a delayed future.
So, using the same dogmatic mentality I used when I refused to take back the last X-Man, I now pledge to go forth and finish my book. I’m not going to edit too early or re-write–. I will not look back until I finish the manuscript.