You can never have complete control over the process. Stop trying to avoid failure and embrace it instead.
I was almost half-done this round of revisions on Black Wolf when I decided it was absolutely necessary to eat a frog that’s been croaking at me for over a year—I needed to revise all the crappy part and chapter titles that have been mocking me ever since I wrote them.
Let me start by saying that perfectionism is a curse that rots your brain and hacks away your self-confidence until you’re nothing but a quivering pile of dogshit. I am author, hear me whimper.
Over and over again, I’ve wondered when I might go and what I might leave behind. There will be no brood of brats to carry on my name, probably just a yowling cat, a pile of artwork, a jumble of Viking re-enactment gear, and a shit-ton of unfinished or unpublished stories, articles, and poems. And probably my half-eaten corpse. (I’ve been thinking I should invest in one of those automatic cat food dispensers.) But honestly, I do ask myself what I want to achieve and what contributions I want to make to the world, even if “the world” is just my little circle of friends and family.
Art, in all its forms, is first and foremost an act of self-expression. It doesn’t matter what your art is, or how complex or simple your creations are, or even if you share your creations with anyone else. You are pulling back the curtains and revealing yourself, even if you are your own audience.