How’s it going? This post title is also the title of a song by Neil Sedaka. And no, I’ve never seen him perform that song (or any other one, for that matter).
The song was apparently re-released in 1975, and Neil’s had an awesome 50 year career. Meaning, when the song originally came out, I wasn’t walking the earth (or heck, even crawling it).
If you’ve heard the song, you’ll get what I’m talking about. If not, you still will.
And I’ll file this one under “Pop Songs,” even though I think of those kind as being less than 20 years old (otherwise they’re classic, or so, and there’s nothing wrong with that).
Let’s get to it.
I’m not worried about the content of the song itself. I’m more in tune with how it got me thinking this week. I’ve been doing a lot of editing, and when other circumstances from another project pushed in on me, I realized…
I had to make a decision to let go, or go nuts.
In other words, breaking up is hard to do, especially in the writing world.
Especially when you have a responsibility to do your best for a client who’s counting on you.
Especially when you know there’s gotta be another error on page 54 somewhere—even though you’ve been over it six times.
And most especially when you want to do your best because YOU want to—because you know it’s right.
That’s where I am right now—learning to let things go. To not edit forever like some desperate schmoe who wants to prevent a girl from leaving by wrapping his arms around her ankles as she tries to walk away (okay, maybe that was a little too much).
I’m a writer. And a fiction one, in addition to some other kinds. I couldn’t resist.
This is no excuse for a partial-rear-end effort in doing work—whether for yourself, or clients (not to be high-and-mighty, or condescending, as you’ll soon see).
So what do I do about this letting go thing?
Well, I try to practice it. How? By doing the best, most thorough job I can. Going over something two or three times if necessary (anything more than that seems to be counterproductive for some reason). And I have gone over something more than four times, at times.
And after all that, I switch gears, switch projects, or take a break (something I should probably be more structured about, by the way).
And then I pick things up in the morning, if I need to.
I’m not the best at this balance between effort and letting go—especially since I’ve worked more than the standard eight hours per day, and then almost fell asleep on the couch a few times—while the TV was on. All because I was so tired even trying to think made me feel like I had a ten-pound weight pressing my temple.
What about you? Do you find it easy to edit, do your best, and let go? Or does the phantom memory of typos and “but somebody’s GOTTA know if I do!” keep you awake at night?
Drop me a line in the comments. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Until next time,