Friday, March 13, 2015

Waiting for Perfection

As writers (and really anyone who creates) we want our work to be perfect. How many times have you thought I'll send this out...I just want to read through it one more time. And as agents, we tell people all the time not to rush to publication. Take your time and send out your best work.

Well that can be good advice during the creation process, but it can be crippling when it comes to marketing.

* We wait until we can afford a fancy website before we create one
* We wait until we have an enticing bonus gift before we open a mailing list
* We wait until our blog template is perfect before we really promote it

I'm raising my hand here as guilty. I should have created a mailing list ages ago, but I just started mine in August. I knew I needed one and the sooner the better. But I felt like a hack if I didn't have a prime bonus to offer people signing up. So I waited. I have a decent list, but I can't imagine how much better it would be if I hadn't waited for perfection before opening it up.

There's a lot of pressure on authors these days to do it all right. You've got to look professional, while being accessible and in the midst of it all, staying true to who we are as people. And with all those requirements on everything we touch, it's not surprising that we let opportunities go when we don't feel the stars have aligned perfectly.

I'm trying to remind myself that there is a big thick line between productive and perfect. I can have a website that isn't perfect that still gives reader what they want. I can order business cards that don't look amazing, but still give people the information they need to get in touch with me. I can launch a mailing list, even if the offer isn't knock-your-socks-off stupendous.

It's hard, but at the end of the day, some efforts, even mediocre ones are better than zero executed perfect efforts. So cut yourself some slack, don't compare where you are with someone else, and just do the best you can. No, it's probably not perfect, but honestly, what is?

6 comments:

  1. *Raising Hand* Guilty as charged! The funny thing is, when I finally do make that leap and take action...I still feel like I'm jumping the gun! :)

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    1. I think that's just a writer thing. Even when we get positive feedback on what we do, we'll always feel like we could have done better. And the truth is that we could. I can write a better book today than I could have two years ago. My marketing plan will be better informed next year than it is today.

      I try to remember the iterations that technology goes through. Blue Ray is better than DVD, but boy am I glad we didn't have to wait another decade using VHS while we waited for Blue Ray to be ready. :)

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  2. What, did you see me comparing my Amazon author page to other authors' this morning and making adjustments? I stupidly hadn't been taking advantage of all the extras you can add to your page because I was afraid mine weren't good enough. Today, I made myself utilize them to the best of MY ability, because that's all I can do. I really have to stop comparing myself to others and what they come out of the gates offering. Thanks for the reminder, Sarah.

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    1. Good for you. Video killed the radio star and comparisons killed the hesitant author. :)

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  3. Good point! I write with a critique group, and I'm the only one who's published in the 8 years we've been together. They're STILL working on the same books. Ya need to let go at some point.

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    1. Yes, I always a want to gently shake the writers who query the same project over and over again. Or I'll see a contest entry for a ms that came in n my query box two years ago. At some point you have to let it go so you can grow as a writer. And congrats on the publication.

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