An editor colleague just asked what to do about a client who’s written a very good novel but wants to keep revising and revising and won’t start querying agents or publishers.
There’s not much you can do, I said.
Aside: “Letting Go,” take 1, was prompted by a similar query. It took off in a somewhat different direction. I suspect that writers and editors never stop dealing with this stuff.
The word “perfectionism” came up.
As a recovering perfectionist — often a recovering-by-the-skin-of-my-teeth perfectionist who wonders if she’s recovering at all — I know a few things about this. Perfectionism can mean that everything you do has to be perfect before you’ll let it out of your sight, but it can and often does mean more than that. Perfectionism is a way of maintaining control. If I do everything right, I won’t get fired, my lover won’t leave…
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