I’m revising my novel, and things are starting to pick up. Revising a written work is an incredibly fretful process. The goal is to clean up as many mistakes as possible, tidy up sentences, rework paragraphs, and put the finishing rough touches on the work itself. There’s always that nagging voice in the back of my head wondering if I made some embarrassing oversight.
That voice is useful when revising and finishing up a work, but it’s also the voice of a merciless skeptic. At times, I find it easy to think of my novel as a terrifying forest with monsters of poor grammar and word choice lurking behind every tree. They hide and wait for me to pass, and I simply miss their existence.
Taking control of that voice has been a long process. Part of it is learning to be gentle with yourself (something I do have a problem with), but another part is accepting that the little details also can add to the overall enjoyment of a book. Not too many people will throw a book away in anger at witnessing a minor error, and stories of even a few thousand words can have them. If the story is worth reading, nobody will care about the blemishes.
Sweating the details is walking a fine line between noticing the things that take away from my creation and being confident enough to accept the ones that I miss.