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Never Good Enough

I read recently that writers and artists are never satisfied with their work. Is this true? I thought I was just being picky and weird about my work because it never seemed good enough. But if this is true and most creative people feel this way, then I'm in very good company. Why are we like that? What is it that makes us think our work needs to be made even better over and over again?

Asked by: ELSIE BYRON

  1. Alex Smith on August 8, 2017

    You're always going to want to make changes because in the time between re-reads you've changed yourself. The way I look at it, your writing is a snap-shot of what you like and feel good about at a particular time, so don't worry about the fact that there's always something to change. I'm going through my book for the last time now, not because it's perfect, but because it's time to send it out and see if it can hook an agent. If it does then great, if not then it's time for a new project. You're always going to have changes you want to make so as soon as you reach a point where it all fits together, I'd suggest turning your concentration to getting it published. As soon as you think you're happy, send it off. Otherwise you'll be working on it forever.

  2. Grace Gilbert on July 19, 2017

    One of my favourite quotes is 'Every first draft is perfect because all a first draft needs to do is exist'. I can't remember whose quote it was but it certainly had an impact on the way I view my writing and I think it is something that everyone who writes should consider. It doesn't have to be perfect the first time around. Instead of judging our work by others standards we should first judge it by our standards.
    Sorry if I rambled on and didn't make a lot of sense.

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  3. ELSIE BYRON on July 17, 2017

    Thank you Rachel. You're right, It's true you can spend ages deciding should the dot be here, or there. And all the while the writing isn't getting done. Love the Hemmingway quote, how true. Thanks again.

  4. Rachel Burns on July 16, 2017

    It's good to be critical - writing is rewriting but when it stops you writing full stop it becomes destructive- many great writers have come to a sticky end - i.e spending all day to decide where to put the full stop nonsense. Accept that first draft 'is shit' Hemmingway.

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  5. ELSIE BYRON on July 12, 2017

    Thank you Adrian. I am definitely guilty of all the above. I have cut, added and changed so much that sometimes I completely lose the plot. I liked the Ernest Hemingway quote it's very true.

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