What is good, Alex? Endings for $400, please.
All levity aside, this is something that sticks with me. A piece of advice from Emma Coats really resonated (and the rest of it was pretty incredible, too):
“8. Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.”
So true and yet so hard to do! especially for those of us with more than a small tendency toward the P-word. Perfectionism. Good is the enemy of great (see Jim Collins), and perhaps I’m misinterpreting the quotation, but good enough is always better than perfect. Because perfect, you see, is unattainable.
Not in life and not in art. We can come close, don’t get me wrong. And it is always better to aspire to the zenith than accept mediocrity. But there’s a yawning abyss between mediocrity and good enough. Don’t fall in!
I strive to do my best during my writing, especially now during revision. But sometimes, I wonder if many wonderful books have been lost to the desire to make them perfect, rather than submitting them when they’re good enough? Here’s hoping mine will not fall prey to this fate.
In the meantime, I really need to focus on Emma’s “16. What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.”