Don’t Get Dragged Down by the Power to Change

Just because you can change an ebook or a webpage, doesn’t mean you should. We’ve reached an age  where edits can be made in seconds. Books can be revised and put back in circulation in a day. The temptation to edit ad infinitum is terribly strong.

I recall I had a story put up by Amazon Shorts (since defunct and replaced by Amazon Singles). I edited that story like no other. Amazon posted it up. Then a friend bought and read it, only to discover a glaring typo. My protagonist cries her fool head off at one point. I typed “balling” rather than “bawling”. I was mortified. Given the opportunity to rush in and change it, I certainly would have. But I couldn’t (at least not with Amazon Shorts). God knows, every time I type the word “bawl”, I remember the error.

Since Amazon Shorts went down, I retrieved ownership of my story once again. The first thing I did was change the spelling back to “bawling”. Yet I’m glad I had to wait. Writing needs a deadline. A cut off point, after which you abandon it to the landscape of literature and move on.

It’s the moving on that’s important. It’s not the one book you’re remembered by (unless you’re Harper E. Lee). It’s writing many books and stories and tales. Keep writing. Learn from your mistakes. And let them be your mistakes.

I often tell the students in my class that mistakes are the only things that are truly yours. Own them. You learn more by messing up than succeeding.

Tim Kane

About Tim Kane

Tim Kane is a young adult fiction writer.
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2 Responses to Don’t Get Dragged Down by the Power to Change

  1. Thank God for you! Thanks for reminding me not to deride myself when I mess up. Smooch!

  2. Dalya Moon says:

    Deadlines are awesome! I’m afraid I’ve made some pretty big gaffes in my own work. Oh, the embarrassment I cause my fool self by not paying $200 (or whatever the going rate is) to a proofreader. 🙂

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