Perfection, Schmection

Since publishing my first book, FLOAT • Becoming Unstuck for Writers, I’ve been learning so much on the topic. At the time, it felt arbitrary – my decision that the book was “done” enough to put out into the world – and now I can see how necessary that arbitrariness was. I’ll never really be “done.” If I’d waited for everything to be perfect, well, I’d still be waiting.

I’m still working with authors, coaching and editing and helping them develop their manuscripts. This means that they’re teaching me every day. Also, I’m still writing, and gaining the benefits of experience (not to mention valuable ongoing feedback from the writer group, BACCA, I’m lucky to be a part of for six years now).

Lately, preparing for a fall season of book events, I also decided to develop a deck of FLOAT Cards for Writers. The idea is that you can use them as a randomized guide for a given writing session. Pick a card, any card…get a bite-size source of inspiration – or intervention – to get the creative juices flowing.

I made a prototype of the card deck, and it’ll be coming with me in a few days, for a book event at Baine’s Books & Coffee, an independent bookstore in Scottsville, VA. I’ll see how people like using them!

FLOAT Cards Box top

Coming this fall!

Anyway, adapting materials from the book for such a different format and purpose got me thinking, once again, about how much room there is to expand on – or compress – the ideas in the book. As I was creating the deck of 52 cards, I was focusing on how to fold into the small space of a card (3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches) the recent lessons and ideas I’ve accumulated over the months since FLOAT hit the marketplace.

I’ve begun to see that the tools I offer in FLOAT can, in a real sense, always be improved upon. And maybe that’s a good thing.

Perfection isn’t fruitful. Growth and potential are messier than that.

In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.
–Hannah Arendt

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