Writer's Block and Stress - part 8 - editing
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The Editing Process
These tips can be applied to the writing process too, but it is worth remembering that the editing process, whilst valuable and necessary, can be over-cooked by a perfectionist streak.
Practice ‘Good Enough’ - This can be hard, but it is worth challenging the ‘it’s got to be perfect,’ mind-set with a new one: ‘it’s good enough’. Good enough is fine; good enough gets printed, published, and implemented, and gets to number 1 all the time. Get over yourself and accept this. Also, see the next point:
Remember the 80:20 rule - This is a fascinating principle but one that I won’t go into fully just yet. Put simply, a perfectionist aims for 100% perfect every time, correct? BUT your 80% level is likely to be far in excess of everyone else’s 100% standard (their ‘good enough’ standard). Why waste blood, sweat and tears to get that last 20% self-perceived quality increase when in reality any improvements you can make for that final 20% are marginal from anyone else’s perspective.
Forget the other perfectionists - As you’re writing, are you anticipating the critique of other perfectionists? Let’s face it: not only do we apply standards to ourselves, we also apply them to the work of others. My advice? Ditch the perfectionist critic – most of it is subject to the opinion of others, anyway. Great books never see light of day, and poor books somehow make it onto the market and become bestsellers. C’est la vie! Forget the critics and focus on getting your stuff out of your head and written down. You’ll never get published if you never get started!
Well, that’s it for the writer's block and stress series. I’m happy it’s at least 80% perfect and ‘good enough’ so I’m going to reward myself accordingly. I hear a super-sized mug of tea calling!
I hope you have found the series useful – let me know how you get on with the hints and tips, and be sure to share your own in the comments box below.
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Dave Algeo, Stressed Guru is a speaker and writer committed to spreading the message - well-being and success need each other. Get in touch to find out how he can help your organisation develop greater success with wellbeing, or learn more about his speaking and workshops.