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Saturday, March 29, 2008

You're always 95 percent done

The art of writing seems too fluid to ever be set in stone. And that makes my job difficult. I keep editing. And editing. And editing. Every time I read my book proposal, I tweak a sentence here. I add some color there. I rearrange something in the table of contents. I can't imagine there will be a time when I read it, and I don't see a single word that should be replaced with a better, more appropriate word. But if I continue with this line of thinking (and editing), I will never, ever send this proposal out to agents. I will never move past this fluid phase.

My talented husband said that as with software development, a project is always 95 percent finished. But you need to pick end dates so that you can actually ship the product. That same theory should be applied to this proposal as well. Letting the calendar dictate my end-date seemed like the perfect way to help me move past this editing phase. As a result, my new deadline is Saturday, April 5. That gives me one more week to tweak, edit, add, delete, paste, and perfect before I stop.

I know a big part of my hesitation is just the idea of putting my words and ideas out there. The idea of moving into the uncomfortable phase where strangers will cut it down, move things around, and ask for revisions is daunting. But I believe in myself, and I believe in my project. I need to remember that a year ago, the idea of writing a business plan for my book was daunting. But I did it. And I know I will do this too because I know that ultimately, all those revisions, all that criticism, and all that outside feedback will make it even better.

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