A Conversation with Story: I say goodbye, you say hello

Story: You have to let me go.

Me: No, let me tinker with you some more. I think I can get it right if I rework this one scene.

Story: You’ve been tinkering off and on for months and you’re still not happy.

Me: I can get it right if I tweak you here and there. I know I can do this.

Story: You are so frustrating. You do know what’s going on here, right?

Me: Yes, I do. You’re not perfect so I have to keep working on you until you are perfect. Now be quiet and let me work.

Story: I will not be quiet because you are not seeing this how it truly is. This isn’t about tinkering with me to make me perfect. This is about you being afraid to of failure.

Me: What are you talking about now?

Story: You’ve been working on me for longer than I care to remember. I’m written, I’m done. But you keep tinkering. A comma here, a word there. You’re always poking at me. I’m not going to get any better. I’m ready. I tell you I’m ready. So zip me up and email me to the next available market. Stop being afraid to fail.

Me: I’m not afraid to fail.

Story: Then why won’t you let me go? Because I am a reflection of you. You want me to be perfect. Okay, I get that. I want to be perfect. But I am telling you I feel pretty good right now. I think I am ready. Changing one little bit of me here or editing one little bit there, isn’t going to make me any better. Now stop tinkering with me. Either put me aside and get started on a new story, or send me out to be considered for publication.

Me: You’re a little mouthy today.

Story: Sometimes it’s the only way I can get through that thick skull of yours. You need to trust yourself more when you write. Trust yourself and trust your instincts when it comes to writing.

Me: But how do I know when I should trust myself or my own instincts? Sometimes I don’t feel confident enough in my work to do that.

Story: Which is why you keep tinkering. I see this all the time. Writers keep rewriting and rewriting stories in the vain hope that one day that story will finally become the one true perfect story. It doesn’t happen that way. Either you believe in my now or you never will.

Me: Okay, I’m going to send you out. I think you’re ready.

Story: Good. I think you might be surprised at the result. Too often a writer is much too critical of his own work. I have always said writers are the worst judge of their own work and it’s true. I’m okay. I’m telling you I’m ready for submission. Now let me go.

Me: I’m sorry. You are right as usual.

Story: Learn to trust yourself more and your stories will work harder for you.

Me: If you sell I’m going to buy a cheeseburger to celebrate.

Story: With onions? Now you’re talking.

Me: Always cracking wise, aren’t you?

Story: Hey, I’m here all week.

Me: You wish. I’m hitting send now. Off you go to the editor. Okay, what next?

New Story: Hello.

Trust yourself and your work. Don't keep rewriting. Put the story aside and start on the next one.



2 Replies to “A Conversation with Story: I say goodbye, you say hello”

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