Can Your Work Ever Be Too Perfect?

Writer’s Blog Stardate 1-28-2012

Good morning blogger’s and wannabe’s

The other day I was sharing with a friend how I found myself re-writing several sections of my novel and that it was probably the umpteenth million time I’d had to do it. They were aghast! How can you call yourself a writer if you’re continually re-writitng what you’ve already written. It was actually suggested that I might be trying too hard to be perfect and that I should cut myself some slack and not try so hard.

Well I gave that all of about a nanosecond of thought and responded, “Can your work ever be too perfect?”

So my question to us as writer’s is, “Can our work ever be too perfect?”

I am a voracious reader and I  try to mix up the genre’s in order to learn from other author’s. Unfortunately something I’ve discovered doing that  is,  that there are alot of new authors with a lot of  work out there, but there aren’t that many that are good. There are even some you have to ask the question “How in the world did you get published?” [and that was after the third book in the series]

Sorry, but its true. It’s not that they had a bad idea for a story – but rather that they were allowed to do a poor job of telling it.

We are surrounded by every type of media  and resource to be able to create imaginable [and some unimaginable], but that shouldn’t be an excuse for us to do something poorly. If we expect others to spend hard earned cash on something we’ve created, then don’t we owe it to them to make it ‘perfect’? Shouldn’t the effort we put into creating a story, poem or play be with the expectation that when we have finished the work, it is as near perfection as is humanly possible for us to make it?

But even more importantly – don’t we really owe it to ourselves? Do we really want to leave a legacy of garbage for other generations to judge us by? We only have one life to live, so why don’t we choose to live it with excellence rather than mediocrity? Wouldn’t it be better to have created one thing that was truly brilliant, that two or three hundred years from now people are still using it as a measuring guide of greatness than a lot of not so brilliant things that won’t be remember six months after they were published?

So what does this mean for me?

That I’m in this for the long haul, for that one brilliant piece of creative work that will still be on a bookshelf a hundred years from now instead of the bargain table of .50 books that no one wants to read the first time let alone twice. It means that I’m back at the key board writing and re-writing something until I just can’t squeeze out one more ounce of perfection. It also means that I’ll be getting up in the middle of the night because I’ve suddenly realized that yesterday I  may have had a great idea , but the reality on page isn’t worth the time it took to type it out and I won’t rest until I’ve given it the ‘mercy delete’ that it truly deserves.

From the lap top of an uncensored dreamer


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