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.
* 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?