On my way to work, I noticed a window washer in a bucket dangling outside an office building. I hadn't thought about it before, but window washers are like writers.
There are many varieties. I've listed three of them, but you may be able to identify more. Their order is no reflection on which category is better. Here are the types:
Category 1 - People who diligently wash their windows. They take pride in their windows' appearance and want them to look perfect. Even if others don't notice, if they see specks of dirt, they feel compelled to clean the windows again and again. They do this constantly, sometimes missing out on fun things in their quest for perfection.
Category 2 - People who wash their windows for special occasions or when they have extra time. They like to see the windows look good, but don't dwell on them if they aren't perfect for the time being. They know the windows will eventually get done when the time is right. There are more fun things to do than concentrating on windows every minute.
Category 3 - People who hire other people to clean their windows. They may not have the time or the expertise to do the job properly, but they have enough sense to know the windows need to get cleaned. If they hire a person with the right qualifications, the windows will sparkle just as brightly as those of the other window washers.
You may have guessed whom these window washers represent. If you haven't, I'll tell you.
Category 1 - Authors Plagued by Inner Editors. They constantly revise and edit as they go along. It takes a long while to get their manuscripts right. Sometimes they're hampered by their approach because it's hard to be perfect. If they keep at it, they'll eventually get their manuscripts ready. Their reward is knowing they've done all they can and their manuscripts are all they can be. I'm afraid I fall into this category, although I wish I didn't. I'm trying to be a Category 2 author.
Category 2 - Authors Who Plough Ahead and Get Their Manuscripts Done. These authors get into the zone and allow ideas to flow freely. When their manuscripts are finished, they go back and look up references, check grammar, structure, and other fine points. They've had a fun ride and everything still turned out all right at the end.
Category 3 - Authors Who Hire Editors. Some authors are not confident of their ability to knead their manuscripts into shape, don't have time, or would prefer to spend their time creating. Editing is a tedious chore they'd rather avoid. They look for an editor who knows what to do and gets the job done right. That editor will get paid. The author will get a clean manuscript. Everyone will be happy.
Where do you fit? Please share.