Monday, October 29, 2012

No Pressure, but it has to be Perfect

As writers, we tend to strive for perfection. I can’t send my query until it is absolutely perfect. I can’t show this story until it is flawless.
That puts a lot of pressure on our already-stressed-from-lack-of-sleep minds.
My advice: Relax!
Not saying that you shouldn’t make your story the best that it can be. You most certainly should do that. You must grow and stretch yourself with every draft.
But don’t stress about making it perfect.
Here’s the big secret: It will never be exactly perfect.
No matter how much you tweak it and polish it, someone somewhere will find something wrong with it.
Don’t believe me? Go to Amazon or Goodreads or any other book-selling website and read the reviews of your favorite book.
It will surprise you how much people loath what you find to be awesome. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a book on this planet that everyone will love.
So when you are feeling the pressure to achieve perfection, take a step back (and perhaps a deep breath) and focus on what you’re doing right. Plan how to make it better and don’t be discouraged.
Awesome and perfection are not the same thing. Write an awesome book, not a perfect one.
Happy writing!


  1. good reminder. We do stress out about it too much.

  2. I was told a few years ago was, "No matter how good something is, it can always be better."
    Rather than taking that as an excuse for paralysis, I instead take it as exactly what you say: relax. Do the best I can and then press forward. I don't worry about continuing to polish something. I don't want to run the risk of rubbing good stuff off.

  3. I often have to come back to this when editing and re-reading. It's definitely important for writers to keep in mind, since otherwise they can land themselves in some pretty dark places. I have a habit of reading one-star reviews of my favorite books just to make myself feel a bit better (while also studying what ever people could have possibly found wrong with them). At least there are good uses for someone's harsh judgement.