The November / December 2012 issue of Writers Digest featured an interesting article on “The 7 Deadly Sins of Self-Editing” by Janice Gable Bashman and Kathryn Craft. Using the 7 Deadly Sins as a starting point (and what Catholic writer can’t respond to some good old-fashioned guilt?) , the writers go on to describe how writers suffer from greed, lust, gluttony, pride, sloth, envy, and wrath and what to do about it.
Honestly, I’m suffering from the whole gamut, and while these “sins” may not be a topic of conversation the next time I go to confession, it’s obvious that I have a long way to go to curb my writing demons. As with anything else, admitting that there is a problem is the first step! For the purpose of this article, I thought I’d focus on the sin of greed.
Greed in writing looks toward the uncertain reward of tomorrow instead of embracing “the joys of writing that are available today.” It’s wanting to rush the process in order to reap whatever rewards may await us instead of being willing to bide our time and make our work the best it can be.
I do enjoy the writing process, but I am also a person who likes to cross things off my to-do list. “Write Novel” has been living on my to-do list for quite a while now. I want so much to take my pen and cross that item off. As much as I enjoy having a project to work on, I like the sense of accomplishment that “having written” gives me even more.
I’m currently in the process of revising my novel – typing it from its handwritten version into a Word document, making changes as I go. Even once that step is completed, I know I still need to read through it and make more changes. Then, once I have it as good as I can get it on my own, I need to have it professionally edited. All the while, my insides are shouting, “But I want to share my story! I want it to be done!” Yes, writing greed is alive and well in me.
How do you keep yourself from rushing to the finish line?