Oh, thank you for sharing, Kestra! You are a super star!
I’m so glad you shared too because, like me and so many others, it sounds like you think of fixing as perfecting. (If I’m wrong, please let me know!) It’s taken me a long, long time to figure out how to fix something without meaning to try to perfect it. And honestly, I still work on this. That’s why I like Neil Gaiman’s “8 Good Writing Practices” because he specifically mentions perfection. “Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.”
Further, I like the term polishing, especially if the term fixing brings up too many negative emotions. When I was in junior high school, my friends and I got into making bracelets and necklaces with polished rocks we found around our neighborhood. (I’m a country girl, and there’s a lot of rocks here as well as a lot of time, so rock polishing seemed like a good thing to do.) So when I think of polishing, I think back to my days of hunting for pretty rocks in the summer, and then spending all that time with my friends as we buffed and polished our rocks to a shine. Do you like the term polishing or some other term?
As for being “good enough” that’s a hard thought to tackle–at least for me. When it really comes down to it, and I hope I don’t sound too snobby, but we all know of not great books that make a ton of money, even if the reviews are horrible. We all think (well, I did) the business of writing is a meritocracy. But it’s not. (It is getting better, though.) What I’m trying to say is that there isn’t really such a thing as “good enough” or “not good enough.” And yet, I know I’ve worried myself sick about not being “good enough,” even though I’ve seen the unfairness and racism and sexism of the publishing world. I’ve worried myself to the point of not writing when it comes to this “good enough” conundrum. It’s very difficult for me to stop worry about not being good enough because it taps into an older wound of mine, something far more personal than just my writing woes. So, when the “not good enough” blues take ahold of me, I have to first calm down by comforting myself for a bit, then I have to remind myself that there’s no such thing as good enough or not good enough, that I’m doing the best I can and I will continue to learn for as long as I can breathe, and that there’s no such thing as perfection but sometimes a novel or a painting can have happy little accidents that make it as close to perfection as there ever will be.