I saw a quote recently that really made me stop and think. It was in a magazine, but I can’t remember who said it.
Perfectionists always lose.
Yikes! But so true, because a perfectionist is never satisfied. And if you’re never satisfied, you never let go of the work. I know this from experience. I am cursed with the perfectionist gene, though it’s selective (for instance, I’m not obsessive about having a perfect house — well, I kind of am, but I know I have to give up and invite people over or I never will because things aren’t perfect — hence my party this Friday that I’m trying not to obsess over).
And I’ve also had to learn to stop trying to perfect the writing, to send the darn thing out and see what happens. I do this remarkably well when deadlines are attached. 🙂 But let me have all the time in the world to “fix” my work, and I’ll keep fiddling with it. There’s always a better way to say something, always a better idea.
But you have to learn to let go.
Are you a perfectionist? Do you have trouble letting the work out of your sight? What tricks do you use to stop yourself from fiddling? If you aren’t a perfectionist, how do you know when the work is ready? What is your benchmark for determining it?