If you do a lot of things, you screw up a lot of things. You have to give yourself permission to totally humiliate yourself repeatedly. If you can do that, then happiness results. ~ James Altucher
September 19: I launched my first book
September 20: I learned there were multiple errors in the copy
September 21: I started proof-reading the copy
November 7: Blurry-eyed, I was proof-reading the copy for the third time. I wasn’t seeing the words anymore.
I had reached burn out
I really want to get this project finished. I am overdue sending my “two copies” to the National Library, I need the corrected versions uploaded to Amazon. I owe folks everywhere new copies of the book after I asked them to trash the first ones. The whole situation is a mess. However, this week, after striving for months to edit my book to publishable standard myself, I had to admit defeat. I realized if I continued on my own I could take a few more months over the project.
I realized I could no longer keep trying to do the final proof read myself. As I had already paid a proof-reader to do it once, I had felt this inner resistance to the idea of having to hire another. Costly business this Indie thing, let me tell you.
Nevertheless, I quit, and I handed the job over the same day to a professional proof-reader, who works locally.
And do you know what? It was the best thing I ever did.
As soon as I handed over the manuscript, I relaxed. I hadn’t even realized how stressed I’d become about the whole process of putting out a quality self-published book.
As soon as I quit, we began to get things done. Within one week, the proof-reader has read the whole thing. She has found “70 inconsistencies” and she’s hopeful of getting the project done by November 20.
There is a great sense of relief to have let go of the reigns. I’d been holding on so tightly, I don’t think I was doing a very good job of editing anymore.
This way, I will have the peace of mind, of knowing we caught all the little errors. I will have put out the best book I could and that’s the main thing.
As my friend, author, James Preller, told me recently:
“In the end, the only thing that matters – the only thing – is the book.”
However, this road of being an Indie author, as wonderful as it is to have total control, can be an overwhelmingly large amount of work. I guess what I’m saying is, that I learned a lesson the hard way. I pushed myself to burn out before I would admit that I’d taken on too much.
I wanted to pass on this nugget of wisdom I have between my teeth that it’s okay sometimes to quit.
I felt ashamed to admit I stopped editing only three pages into the manuscript. I had fallen down before the finish line.
Yet, it was the best thing for me. I was tired. It felt so good to stop; I may start stopping more often, if you know what I mean!
The ultimate test is in the end product. Did I put out the product I intended?
I feel assured now that the end product is going to be a polished book which will be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any book in any library anywhere. Will that end product be worth the shame and embarrassment of quitting at the final hour? Heck-to-the-yeah!
As Altucher said, “You have to give yourself permission to totally humiliate yourself repeatedly. If you can do that, then happiness results.”
Quitting is so hard to do, why is that? But, sometimes it’s the best, and smartest way of stepping forward.
Here’s to the next step!
Talk to you, soon,
Yvette K. Carol
Failure is the start point for future success.~ Bob Mayer