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Day 79: “you are held back by the perfection which you are not yet able to achieve.”

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I found that quote in someone’s comment on a Freshly Pressed blog this morning. I believe he said that his first journalism teacher told him that. The thing that struck me is how true this thing is, especially in the context of writing. I am a perfectionist and it is both a blessing and a curse. Despite much poking and prodding from outside forces to finish a draft of my manuscript I refuse to put sentences which are noted to be awkward and badly formed into it just for the sake of a word count. This is not to say I haven’t written any sentences which are awkward or poorly constructed, I write a lot of those but I only see them as lacking something on the second read through, if I had known the sentence was going to sound that awkward I would have rewritten it in my head before committing it to the word processor screen. Some of my family find my writing style infuriating, I get the impression that they wish that I would hurry up and finish the manuscript so that it could be set off to a publisher to critique. The problem is that even if I finished the manuscript tomorrow I would still not feel that it was ready for someone working at a publishing company to see. I am aware that most published writers have had their fair share of rejection slips, I will not be any different. This does not mean I am willing to send out a piece of work which I’m not really happy with, if I’m not happy with it a publisher is even less likely to be happy with it as it stands. Who knows? If I’m really lucky perhaps my ponderous method will make the difference between getting 50 rejections before I get one yes.

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