Tag Archives: support

Another thought on “perfection”

I should have a “perfection” category on my blog. I’ve had a lot of posts related to those. The reason is that I want things to be perfect in my writing, but I know I can’t have that.

I go to a monthly writer’s group where we often will write a short piece and share it with the group, get feedback on it, etc. We keep the writing under 2,000 words, so it’s a nice easy writing exercise, at least for me. I love short pieces. But in the month between when we decide what we’re going to write, and when I actually share it with the group, I probably read and edit it at least three or four times. I go to the group and share it, hoping to get lots of good feedback and suggestions on how to improve it and most often what I get is this kind of stunned silence and a general, “That’s really good” comment. It sometimes frustrates me because I look at it and see all the problems. That’s my biggest stumbling block when it comes to publishing stories. I keep reworking them because I never feel like they’re perfect.

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I recently had an incredible experience in regards to this. One of my writing friends, Julia Ward, just published her first book. Every writer talks about how their novel is their baby. Well if Julia’s novel was her baby, I was the novel’s Auntie. I was there through the writing stage of the book, the editing stage of the book, the “why did I write this? It’s awful!” stage of the book, the “Oh wait, there are a few funny parts. Actually, this is pretty good,” stage of the book and finally the, “Holy crap, I’m just about to hit the publish button!” stage of the book. Through the whole thing, I saw that endless struggle for perfection, that endless self-doubt that she would ever be able to reach it. It was the same kind of feeling I had when working on my first novel, the same kind of doubt that it would be any good.

When the novel came out, I picked up my copy and started reading. It was cute, it was fun, it was funny. It wasn’t perfect, but I really didn’t care. I enjoyed it, and I was glad I had it to read. And it made me realize that, yes, I strive to make my novel the best it can be, and that struggle makes it such a much more enjoyable read to someone else, but I will never get it perfect, and I don’t need to, because people want to be transported to some other world, some other life, and as long as the imperfections aren’t extremely distracting, they’re happy to read what has been written.

If you’re interested in Julia’s debut novel, go check it out It really is a great read. (And I’m not biased, being the novel’s Auntie.)

Have fun, and enjoy the writing.

Groupies!

There’s something about belonging to a writer’s group that is incredible. I belong to several writing groups. I have a fiction writer’s group that meets once a month on Wednesdays, a women’s writer’s group that meets once a month on Saturdays, and a bunch of NaNoWriMo friends who just never quit holding write-ins every other week when November ended…like, three years ago.

So every month, (If I’m lucky and don’t miss a group because of children or schedules, or anything else) I get to attend some sort of writers’ group four times per month.

To be honest, I need it.

This evening, when I met with the “Spokane Fiction Writer’s Group” at the fire station, we all stood outside in the foyer for about fifteen minutes because no one was at the fire station to let us inside. It’s summertime, though, and our usually large group was fairly small. There were only six of us who were close enough to “on time” to realize that we were locked out for the first part of the meeting.

We started talking about publishing. I am sitting there, right on the edge of getting published, and one of my friends at this meeting has been so supportive of me just getting out and doing it. We all started talking about publishing and as I listened to everyone talk, I realized that four of the six of us there tonight had been published.

Four of the six! I thought that was incredible. Over half of that little group had been published, and I have the opportunity to meet with them each month and discuss writing, pick their brains about what to do and what not to do when getting published.

How inspiring for me as a writer who is so close to getting my own work published. I love the friendship, the sense of belonging one can get from a group like that. Every month when I get home from that meeting, I sit at my computer and feel so focused and excited about writing. It’s something I look forward to for the next four weeks. If I could give any writer, published or unpublished, a suggestion of what to do if they’re not feeling that Love for Writing anymore, it would be to find a good, supportive writer’s group.

Have fun, and enjoy the writing.