I’m often asked if I question the perfection of a finished novel. The simple answer is a resounding of course I do.
No manuscript will ever be as perfect as you’d like. When reading your work, you will invariably find another “more perfect” word, adjective, or thought, which might have sound better if…
Doubting yourself is a rational, human response. Doubt brings on perfection, drives you to check, recheck, and rethink what you’ve put on paper. Doubt brings on that dubious gut feeling that makes you think your manuscript is never good enough and pushes you to make it as perfect as it can be.
Renowned writers and artists have that dubious feeling in them just as you do because no matter how good you are, it can always be better. I recall reading that Maya Angelou rarely reads her published work. Maggie Smith, the distinguished actor who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey, has said she never watches herself on the screen.
So, if you think you’re ready to publish and suddenly are filled with doubt of your manuscript’s completeness, embrace it. That uncertainty can only result in publishing a novel worthy of your best efforts. In the end, that’s all that matters.
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