Thursday, July 23, 2015

On Being a Stubborn, Self-Reliant Perfectionist

So. I more or less have a completed draft of a manuscript for my book. But it's way too early to celebrate and it's way too early to provide any idea at all regarding when I'm taking next steps toward publication.

The reason for that is I haven't actually submitted the manuscript yet. And the reason for that is I've cobbled together a small team of readers to check out a few chapters that I'm not happy with.

Let me tell you how big of a deal that is. I am one of those people who usually finds it very difficult to ask for help. I can point to causes in my life history that may have conditioned me to resist such acts of humility. No, if there's an instruction booklet handy or if there's enough leeway in whatever I'm doing to learn from my mistakes and avoid asking another to shoulder my burden (you know, like I'm always preaching to my congregation to do for one another), then I'll try to plow through as best I can.

Now, when it comes to my writing, I think I'm at least 10 times worse.

Understand that I love writing. It's a creative outlet that I have enjoyed for most of my life. And while the calm, rational side of me fully understands that asking others for feedback can help improve my work, my prideful, selfish side takes an incredible amount of convincing, because obviously it's already perfect and having others involved would ruin it. Obviously. But really, it's more a hesitancy to give up control (or admit that I'm not really in control) and fear of the possibility that my work is actually flawed, and could be improved.

But I know that it will do me a great deal of good to hear my team's thoughts. I've asked some awesome people to do it, and I know that it will make for a stronger finished product. It's just getting over that first big obstacle of "making the ask" that I think always confounds me, for the reasons stated above. But hey, I've overcome it this time, so that's something, right?

I guess that this is sort of an update on the book. I'm still a way off, but getting this far has been a mountain to climb in itself.