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Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

Perfection is the standard of equestrian sports, so we like to say. This is incredibly intimidating as a non-athletic person returning to riding as an adult. For a long time, I felt very guilty about even getting onto a horse, and having old skool instructors who made it very clear that I should be grateful even to be allowed near a horse, as a rather timid, clumsy amateur rider didn't help.

Things have fortunately changed quite a bit in regards to this attitude when teaching riding in the past few years. Learning and achieving perfection, even if it were possible, requires many moments of imperfection along the way. But I think for myself, getting past the idea of perfection in something I felt I was supposed to be good at, even my "thing" was even harder, namely writing.

I've come to realize there are many kinds of perfection in writing--a perfect mystery novel, a perfect batshit literary fiction novel, a perfect comedic novel--are all very different things. Yet, oddly enough, as the Internet has made it even easier to get criticism from so many sources (people can even screenshot and "take to Twitter" when they a sentence they don't like almost immediately), the allure of writing the perfect text becomes even more seductive.

Of course, writing is hard work, and should be. It's banging at the keyboard day after day at a draft, and sometimes deleting more words than you write is the thing you need to do. But ultimately, at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if you're saying what you want to say and what your readers need to hear. There is no virtue going to your grave with a hundred silent novels in your heart that were so perfect you couldn't put them down on the page.

With apologizes for typos as always, I must now return to my latest WIP of the Fortune's Fool series, Book 10!

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