I had this moment after last night's writing class. It was not a good moment.
What happened was during class we got to discussing what the average count is for re-writes or revisions. It seems that the average number of revisions for a short story is 11.
My instructor said sometimes she looks and revises a story up to 25 times.
I am on revision number two.
I figure at this rate, I should be done with my book when I'm 83. I'll be absent minded, and will have to be told every day that the story is about me. I'll have expanded it to 849 pages, and it will actually be the first of a trilogy. A trilogy that will be complete when I'm 164 years old.
It will be pointless at that point because books won't exist. Most people won't be able to read more than 3 sentences without being distracted or needing to take a nap. Furthermore, words won't exist. Tweeting, texting and acronyms will have turned everything into nothing more than three letters in length and most of it will be emoticons or glyphs.
None of this will matter because most of our entertainment will be either visual or we'll be plugged into a speed-cast that will finish an entire story in 49 seconds. It will be 1/3 as satisfying as actually sitting down with a book for a week and finishing it, but people won't care because it will allow them that much more time to watch their holograph TV's.
So, sorry about that futuristic tangent there.
My dilemma, that I diverged wildly from there, was this:
1. Should I go ahead and finish this book as soon as I can and run the risk of releasing a half-assed effort in the name of getting it done and getting it to my family and friends?
2. Edit it until it is an epic.
There are parts of me that think either of these is the best option. Part of me just wants it done. I'm getting tired of looking at it. The other part of me thinks I can do so much better with it and that's the route I should take. It's a tough spot to be in. There are days I wonder where the whole thing is going.
So help me out. Encourage me. Tell me to keep at it. Remind me that there is nothing like the feeling of getting published.
And remind me to thank you.