Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Better Done Than Perfect

We are writers but we are also editors. Still, what happens when we continue to edit until our dying day? What if we've edited the heart and soul out of our work trying to make it perfect?

Photo by littlegemtrees, courtesy of Flickr

One of my favorite sayings lately is, "Better done than perfect." I like it because after all the writing, after all of the editing, there comes a time when a writer needs to say:

I love this photo. Ever feel divided in your writing?
Write first, travel the road awhile, then edit.
Photo by: The Tire Zoo, courtesy of Flickr
STOP!

One of the reasons why we need to stop is mentioned in the first paragraph. We lose the heart and soul of our work. Another reason we need to stop is because our writing will never be perfect anyway, so the best news is that we can see that and move on.

Does that mean we don't need to do our best? To edit? To create our best work?

Of course not. But if we are going over and over that first chapter, we will never make it to chapter two. And neither will we have a complete novel.

I read a book a couple of years ago that was riddled with errors. I'm not talking say,1-5 throughout the book, but on every page. Every page. But I need to let you know something. The book was good. It wasn't excellent, but it was good.

A good story always needs to trump slick editing. And if the editing is done to a good story, you've got a pretty excellent book.

So if you're stopping yourself on every sentence, or every page, or every chapter to "fix stuff"

STOP! Don't look back (until much later) and keep moving forward.
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