Less than Perfect? That’s Perfect!

MM900395712I spent most of today proofing the final revision of my latest novel (Vain Pursuits- available later this week at Amazon.com) and very nearly got sucked into a fruitless pursuit of perfection.

Once satisfied that I had tweaked out all the typos, etc., from the print edition, I moved on to tackle the digital format for the Kindle version of my book.

When converted to digital format a manuscript can seem to have a mind of its own. Unfamiliar fonts and spaces appear, copied text becomes an active link and random characters pop in where normal punctuation is supposed to be.  Proofing on each of the various Kindle e-reader formats reveals new flaws that must be corrected in the original document and re-submitted for review.

As I repeated the process, even completely accurate formatting began to look suspect and the words with which I was once satisfied seem amateurish and disappointing. Each error I discovered made me more dissatisfied with my work.

In my quest for perfection I began to lose respect for my own creation and abilities.

I decided to pull out the proof copy of my print edition and read these “objectionable passages” for pleasure, rather than criticism. This tactic restored my perspective.

If I am going to publish at all, then at some point it is necessary to say, “Less than perfect is good enough.”  Once I’ve removed the errors in syntax, spelling and grammar, distracting formatting inconsistencies are gone, and I’m happy with the story being told it is time to let it go.

I published the first book in this series with three typos (that I’m aware of) and being told about them was embarrassing. I fixed those between the print and digital versions, then, to my further chagrin, saw some formatting issues in the published digital version.

I’ve spent more time proofreading to try to avoid that same experience with this book, and I hope the results will show, but I have to accept that it’s still probably not perfect.

Seeking perfection in ourselves or our work is a perfect recipe for inertia and failure. If I think I must be perfectly groomed when I go out, I will stop going out. If I must have perfect pitch to sing in public, I will stop singing. If my best efforts are only acceptable when I achieve perfection, then they will never be acceptable and I will stop trying.

Only God is perfect and capable of creating perfection.

No person should ever set “Perfection” as the standard for themselves or others.

Our goal should be to do our best and let God do the rest.

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About Jonna Hawker Turek

I write Christian fiction under my maiden name, J.B. Hawker.
This entry was posted in faith walk, Inspiration, Personal Musings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Less than Perfect? That’s Perfect!

  1. Bex Hagan says:

    Thanks for the pick me up, I’ve been struggling with this same problem, on my own novel, lately! You’re exactly right, it will never be perfect, and every time we read something we’ve written, any author, will find things they want to change. Sometimes it’s good enough the way it was written…the first time!

    Like

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