Total Control

Have you ever thought you were totally in control of something, only to find out you weren’t? I had that happen recently. I thought I had absolutely everything I needed for a meeting at my daughter’s school, only to find I didn’t have the proper immunization records, the registration form they had mailed me, AND that her birth certificate had disappeared.

Sometimes the same thing happens in my manuscripts. I am a partial-pantser (writing friend Marie Lamba calls us “thongers” but that’s just not an image I want burned in my brain), so there’s plenty of space in my manuscripts to go off the rails. Reading over the rough draft, I find things like neglected plot clues, inadvertently changed place names, and minor characters left in the bathroom from chapter 2 until the end of the book.

So what to do when things firmly in hand spiral out of control? The only effective way I’ve found to deal with this is to concentrate on fixing one thing at a time. I called my toddler’s pediatrician and got her records, picked up another registration form at the meeting, and still haven’t found the birth certificate, but I can pick up another copy from the vital records office.

As far as mistakes in the manuscript, the same rule applies: tackle one thing at a time. I always go from big picture to nit-picky because changing big picture items will inevitably change the smaller things. Why waste time fixing commas in sentences you might cut out altogether?

Sometimes I can’t have everything as under control as I’d like. (This is a lesson I am learning over and over as the mom of a toddler.) All I can do is control what I can, not beat myself up for what I can’t, and fix what needs fixing.

Total control is impossible.

Getting to the goal by tackling one issue at a time is not.

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien