Just Turn It In!

Like most writers I know, I can be sort of a perfectionist. I don’t like to turn in work for class until I’ve revised and revised until I can’t revise anymore. I’m fully aware that this is crazy: the whole point of turning in work is to get feedback and ideas; what you hand in is not supposed to be a final draft.

But something—whether it’s pride or anal retentiveness—prevents me from allowing myself to hand in a draft I’m not satisfied with, and I’ve found that the farther I go in my program, the worse my problem gets.

The reason it becomes a problem is that I fall behind on page count. I don’t turn in enough pages per week, not because I’m not writing, but because I don’t feel that what I’ve written is ready for the eyes of my professor and classmates quite yet. Last year, one of my teachers gave me a pretty simple piece of advice: at a certain point, you’ve just gotta turn in the work. And I did, sheepishly, the next week: forty pages I’d been hanging onto since the beginning of the semester.

That’s what I’m telling myself now, as I’m holding onto this full movement that I just can’t bring myself to turn in, even though it was due last week! (By the way, I’m not sure if “full movement” is a Columbia-specific term, so let me quickly define: it’s a piece seen from beginning to end—an entire story or a long sustained scene or chapter that can stand on its own).

Today I was hanging out with my mom and sister, both of whom are teachers, and I confessed to them that I hadn’t turned in my homework. My mom quickly morphed into sixth-grade teacher mode. She pointed at me and said sternly: “you better get that in. Otherwise, he’s not gonna take it, and you know what? I don’t blame him!”

So I’m going to just bite the bullet, turn it in, and hope for the best. There’s no one who can kick your butt into reality quite like Mom can.

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About Ben Sobieck

Benjamin Sobieck is a Wattpad Star and 2016 Watty Award winner. He’s best known on Wattpad for Glass Eye: Confessions of a Fake Psychic Detective, the Watty Award–winning sequel Black Eye, and When the Black-Eyed Children Knock & Other Stories. Four of his titles have appeared on Wattpad Top 100 Hot Lists, all at the same time.

5 thoughts on “Just Turn It In!

  1. Claire

    All over the blogosphere, I hear about writers who queried way before they were ready. And I wonder how that is even possible. Because, me? I’d never hand in something that important un-re-re-re-re-re-revised.

    I’m actually at the point where I worry I might never submit.

    Good to know it isn’t just me who has a problem handing it over.


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