Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I say this all the time in my poetry workshops: good is the enemy of great. Meaning, revise, dig deep, revise again, dig deeper. And I do believe it's true.

Please note by "great," I don't mean "perfect." Is there even such a thing as a perfect poem? I think we writers get way too caught up in trying to be perfect.

Think about it: how many novels/poems/whatever have you started, only to tinker and tinker with the first chapter/first line/first page/? How many of those same starts did you actually finish??

See what I mean? This whole perfectionistic business really is a waste of time. And readers, I've noticed, are generally very forgiving. I myself have hung in there with a book 500 pages or more before actually being hooked -- and been so glad I did! Readers want a story SO BAD, we'll plow through pretty much anything. And if a character has caught our fancy, we will keep on plowing just to see what happens. So I'm thinking now is the time to let go of perfect and remember there is a such thing as GOOD ENOUGH. And guess what's after that?


"The more you know the less you need to say."

- Jim Rohn

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