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Why "Done Is Better Than Perfect" Should Be Every Writer's Motto

KWE Publishing Newsletter - 08/24/23

We've all been there, staring at a blank page, wanting to write but not sure how to get the story we have in our minds onto a page. Or maybe you've started writing already, but you feel stuck because what you've written doesn't feel right.

There's no magic solution that can erase writer's block or automatically turn your ideas into well-formed stories, but there is a philosophy that you can try to follow that may make writing easier: done is better than perfect.

The meaning here is pretty self-explanatory; having a completed project, even if it's not perfect, is better than having nothing at all because there's no such thing as objective perfection in writing.

So, let's explore a little more about this phrase and how you can use it to accomplish your goals!

It's easy to get caught up in the idea of perfection; when you focus on getting something done, you give yourself permission not to be perfect.

It's hard not to focus on the idea of perfection sometimes. After all, we all want to create the best books we can, and you can endlessly write, rewrite, and edit your book if you give yourself the chance.

When you let go of the thought that you need to create the perfect book, you can focus on actually writing. When you're creating your first draft especially, you should just focus on getting words on the page; there will be time to polish your work later!

And that brings us to our next point...

The goal of getting your writing done doesn't mean you don't edit, revise, and seek out critiques—it means you don't put obstacles in your own way.

Just because you concentrate on completing your book doesn't mean you totally let go of standards or avoid involving others in the process of publishing your book! However, you don't nitpick over minor grammar issues or rephrase the same sentence a dozen times over until after you have your draft.

Do plan on editing and having a professional editor look at your work—just don't get ahead of yourself when you're at the beginning stages of writing.

If you focus on getting little things done, those small things will turn into big things.

While many of us would love to have more time to write, the reality is that we often have to find small pieces of time in between working, parenting, or just doing daily tasks that have to be done if we want to write. And in many cases, we can't totally complete a story or chapter in ten or fifteen minutes.

That's okay! If you make it your goal to write a paragraph in the few minutes you have to write, you're still achieving something. Over time, those paragraphs will start to add up, and eventually, you'll have a book!

Once you've written your first draft, you can move on to self-editing. Again, even if you can only edit a paragraph a day, keep at it! Eventually, you'll get there.

So, as a writer, don't let yourself fall into the trap of seeking out perfection—just try to make goals that you can realistically meet and try to write for a few minutes every day.

What do you think of the concept of "done is better than perfection"? What philosophies do you live by as a writer? Reach out and let us know!

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