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If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's time for my Insecure writers Support Group post. Please visit the other awesome members of this group started by Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh.

It's really late and I'm sorry, but last might it snowed mightily here in Chicago and I got to spend the night in a hotel courtesy of my work. So I had no net. Sorry to all of you out there who came by yesterday. I'm still working on comments, etc.

So here I go...

I have a huge problem. A HUMUNGOUS, epic proportion problem. I self edit each paragraph and line of dialogue as I go. To the nth degree. I obsess, change words, move sentences, delete, etc. making myself miserable. As a result, it takes me forever to complete one page. As in 10 hours. It's a wonder I ever finish anything. I get so frustrated that I sometimes avoid writing for days and even weeks.

I don't know if it's a perfectionist thing, an OCD thing or what, but I am sunk. This is getting totally out of control.  And I really don't know how to help myself. Any suggestions? Are there others out there like me? Can we form a club?Or should I just be committed? Maybe the men in the white coats are heading to my house now.


  1. I have the same problem in my screenplay writing - I cannot move past the dialogue until it is right, and heaven help me if I spot a plot hole - I'll spend hours spackling that up in my mind while the cursor blinks. I have no solutions - just lots of sympathy. Sorry Mel.

  2. That's in interesting problem. Have you tried any timed word races or anything like that?

    Maybe getting into the habit of just putting words on paper, as many as you can, in under a certain time limit will break you of your uber-editing issue?

    Good luck :)

  3. Hmm, that's a toughie. I think Mark's suggestion is pretty sound - do some exercises where you have to write as much as you can in a time limit; you'll be so frantic you won't have time to edit :)


  4. Hmm.. definitely an OCD. Try to give yourself a deadline to finish each draft, perhaps that way your obsession will decrease as the time frame is shorter and you need to get more done.

    1. Have you always done this or is this something new? Perhaps things have changed in your life and you need control over something, something you can make perfect. Well my friend, you will never get it perfect because perfect does not exist :)Hopefully this is not a way to avoid finishing your story. Don't stress so much and try not to tell yourself that you shouldn't. If you need to super edit for awhile than go ahead and do it. LOL, If it is an addiction, I can always send you some of my stuff to satisfy your need!

  5. Hey Melissa! No worries you were late.
    Perfectionist here! Yes, I will rewrite sentences and ponder word choice and back up to adjust...
    Some good suggestions above. What gets me through is a deadline - I write during NaNo or BuNo, which forces me to write faster. I'm still only cranking out 350 words per hour (because I'm a slow typist) but I don't sit and ponder as long.

  6. oooh, did you order a breakfast in the hotel?

  7. Yes, I recognise this. Moving a comma, or swapping it for a semi-colon, becomes a major issue. But it just means your editor will love you forever, and actually look forward to working on your books!

  8. I too need my first draft to be nearly perfect. You know, Mel, I think that's okay. But not when it causes you the level of frustration it does. So my advice is to go easier on yourself. You're too harsh. You are amazing, and you've been an extremely productive writer of great quality works. Get back to having faith in the kickass lady you are!


  9. So you end up editing your voice out of it? I've done that. Perhaps you have to quite trying to make it perfect according to other's rules and just make it perfectly Melissa. That's the only standard that matters.

    You're a great writer with great stories. I hope you give yourself more slack.

  10. OH, Sweets,

    I had no idea. In all the hours we've chatted over coffee, you've never mentioned this.

    CHILL... LET THE WORDS FLOW. Have fun with your writing. I am SO not like that. I write like a maniac and Edit for months afterwards. It works for me. LOL.

    Well talk more about it on Sunday......

  11. I have the opposite problem. I always stop before I'm done. I guess that's why I'm not a professional writer. Thanks for sharing Melissa and take your time. Your comments are always welcome.


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