Monday, January 25, 2010

Need a fine-tooth comb ...

I spent most of yesterday sorting through my documents section of my laptop. What a mess. I had stuff everywhere. There were duplicate items, unfinished projects, even stuff I didn't recognize. Ever since the 90s, I had been using Adobe Pagemaker for most of my work. They no longer make that -- In-Design replaced it awhile back. I've changed laptops so many times that I can no longer open my old Pagemaker documents. So, I had to open them through In-Design. If it's a story, I want it in Word. I had to open the PM file using In-Design, copy and paste it, and then format it all over again in Word. Talk about crazy. I'm happy to say I managed to clean up the documents area over 2/3 of the way. Now all my manuscripts are in their own folder and other items are filed away. I deleted a lot of stuff too. I use folders for my photographs, so it's puzzling to me why I had manuscripts scattered all over the place. Folders -- what a novel idea!

Last night I printed up a few of my stories that I'd like to submit. They are pretty old stories, which have seen a lot of revisions. Even after transferring them from Pagemaker to In-Design to Word, I still ended up making a lot of changes. Right before bed I decided to read a few of them and I STILL made some changes. So, now I have all these manuscripts by my bed all scribbled on with pencil marks. It makes me wonder -- is a manuscript ever perfect? Or will I always find something to change no matter how long it sits collecting dust? What do you think? I know I'm neurotic -- my family tells me that all the time. I'm one of those nuts who looks at a magazine ad and wonders why they used that particular font or why they didn't move something over just a bit to the right. Having issues like this is hard for a writer. Even when I think something is fine, I'll look at it later and see something I don't like. Is anyone else like that, or am I just a loon? Is there such a thing as perfect?


  1. Sadly no there's not. Being a perfectionist is a good trait (to an extent). Hee hee hee


  2. Nothing is ever perfect, it is only pleasing or it is not. Unfortunately, since we change, so does the list of things that please us, which is why your stories have transformed so many times.

    You + change = changes to everything else, especially your writing.

    I think you should leave some of your writing alone, unless it seems outdated, because there's a reason the you ten years ago kept things the way they were.

  3. I really think that perfection is not possible. Plus stories are so subjective. One person can think it's just right, and another think it's not right at all.
    Revise, have fun with it and good luck if you end up submitting your old turned new stories!

  4. While perfection is not possible, your drive and desire to make things better is the sign of a truly dedicated writer. A writer who knows that hard work is involved in creating the best new story and revising the finest older ones. I admire any writer who knows the difference between almost ready and much, much better.

    Sometimes newer stories grow from a single change in an older one.

    All the best, as you continue to create and recreate.

  5. I'll read something to my husband and re-read it, and re-read it and he'll say, "It doesn't matter whether it's an 'a' or 'the'

    guess I obsess

  6. I think there are a lot of perfect things in the world but then I guess sometimes the definition of perfect is in question. I mean think about it - what do you think of as perfect? I know there are moments in my life that I look back on and know I wouldn't change a thing because to me it was perfect. (Perhaps not to anyone else but to me it was.) Sitting on a beach at sunset with my kids at my feet and my hubby taking pictures - now that was perfect. Seeing my kids eyes light up when they do something new - now that is perfect. Sitting on the couch with my hubby watching TV while the kids are sleeping upstairs - now that is perfect.

    I guess it all depends on a person's idea of perfect.