Perfection is a Myth We Should Aim For

5 Feb

003Two blogs in one week.  What in the world is going on in my life to allow me so much free time?

Well, for whatever reason, I’m just running on all cylinders this week, and I’m ahead of the game, so I’ll take my free time and dazzle you with some more information and thoughts about writing.

I’ve been saying now for three weeks that I’m basically done with my third novel, “Shadows Kill.”  Well, I’m still “basically done.”  That means I’m still tweeking it, still fine-tuning it, and still fiddling around with it.  It’s just not quite right.  It’s just not quite perfect.

Nor will it ever be.

The thing is….this book will never be perfect.  I could be reading it for the next year and still find something to add or subtract from it.

Let’s take a look at a quote and then move on.


Life is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfection is constant transformation.

Nia Peeples
I should find out who Nia Peeples is because I love that quote. J


When I wrote my first novel three years ago, I thought it was perfect.  Today I’d love to re-write it because I see so much that is wrong in cover

When I finished my second novel nine months ago, I thought it was perfect.  Today I’d love to change the format a bit because I know it would work much better.

As I approach the completion of my third novel, I feel it is perfect in every way although I know, from experience, that it is far short of perfect and will need fine-tuning six months from now.

What’s the point?

Perfection is a myth and unattainable by us.  What is attainable, however, is being the best we can be at any given time.

My third novel is infinitely better than my first, but my first was the best I could do when it was written.  In other words, I am growing as a writer.  My craft is improving, and to me, that’s what our goal should be…to constantly improve our craft.


Cut yourself some slack.  Do the best that you can do and then move on.  You can always revisit it again.


Say hello to Sara Riaz on HubPages.  I just discovered this young lady and I have to tell you, I was immediately impressed.  She has a pretty good command of the English language and how it should be used.  If you have a craving for good writing, follow this link.


Moz has an interesting article about keyword research.  If you are into the whole SEO thing, then this article might be helpful to you.  Follow this link to read that article.


The Paterson Fiction Prize is taking submissions right now. It is for novels or collections of short stories published in 2014, and the deadline is April 15th I believe.  They also have a contest for poetry, and there is no submission fee. Check it out here.


I have some serious concerns about the quality of many books being self-published today.  If the goal is to simply publish a book that your family and friends can read, then fantastic.  I guess quality isn’t all that important.  But if your goal is to actually sell the book to the general public, or have an agent or publisher take a look at it, then quality is vital.  There is no rushing the creative process.  Simply calling something a book doesn’t make it worth reading.

Would you like a rather odd analogy?  Back in the old days, Sears came out with their catalog, and it was, honest to God, a big event.  People would sit and thumb through that catalog for weeks. I know this is true because I remember it as a kid.

Do you know what happened to many of those catalogs back in the early 1900s?  They ended up in an outhouse and they were used for wipes.

Be the best writer you can be.  Produce the best work you can produce!

Have a great week!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


21 Responses to “Perfection is a Myth We Should Aim For”

  1. Janine Huldie February 5, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

    Bill, i definitely needed a bit of a pep talk today as it is snowing again and just a bit down I suppose, but thank you for your uplifting words as I really did need to hear them this morning. So, thank you my friend and hoping you are doing OK today! 🙂

    • Billybuc February 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

      Janine, I’m dead in the water. It’s raining constantly here and my motivation is approaching zero. I understand, my friend. Hang in there and we’ll both come out of it.

  2. Shauna L Bowling February 5, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    The last thing I want is for any of my work to end up as wipes. 🙂

    I love your advice to be the best writer you can be right now. With each step and each accomplishment we learn and get better at what we do. Will we ever be satisfied? Probably not, but that’s all the more reason to keep moving forward, listen to ourselves and our readers, and improve where we can.

    • Billybuc February 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

      Well stated, Sha. I’m following my own advice right now and doing practically nothing. It just isn’t there today…actually it’s been missing all week…so I need to listen closely to what my body and mind are saying, and take a break. I’ll come back from it fresh and ready to conquer the world.

  3. irisdraak February 5, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    So, so true and inspiring! I really am looking forward to your third novel. 🙂

    • Billybuc February 5, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      Thank you, Iris. You may never see it. LOL I’m going the traditional route with this one, so this may stay buried like Harper Lee’s book. Let’s hope not, okay? 🙂

      • irisdraak February 6, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

        Bill, I’m sure that was a difficult choice. Who knows what will happen, the publishing gods are fickle, but the answer is “no” until you ask. I’m glad you’re asking that question.

        When I saw that Harper Lee is publishing that other book I thought about how much pressure that is on all sides. It will be interesting to see how readers respond to it.

        Enjoy your weekend!

      • Billybuc February 6, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

        Thank you so much, Cristen, and Happy Weekend to you. Yes indeed, Lee’s new book will be a very interesting read.

  4. 1authorcygnetbrown February 5, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    I too am finishing my latest novel (also 3rd) A Coward’s Solace and is currently with my first beta reader. I have learned so much since my first novel came out. I was such a greenhorn back then! I thought I could do it all!

    • Billybuc February 5, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

      You and me both, Donna. I’ve found it to be harder to write a novel with each new one. LOL That seems opposite of what it should be, doesn’t it?

      • 1authorcygnetbrown February 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

        I can’t say that it is harder. I actually think it is easier for me. I just keep learning from my mistakes and try not to make the same ones twice!

      • Billybuc February 5, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

        Thanks Donna. The process isn’t harder for me, but reaching the quality that I now expect is much harder.

  5. Denise Anderson February 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    When I first published a newspaper column, many years ago, I became physically ill the week it made its debut. I was so afraid that I was not good enough! Then, I noticed the face of a dear friend and fellow columnist who had given me much encouragement on the newspaper under my feet as I was painting my living room. It dawned on me that others would be doing the same with mine in a few short days! It gave me a different perspective!

    • Billybuc February 5, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      Denise, that is a classic comment. Thank you so much for the laugh and perspective and you are, of course, absolutely correct. I love it!

  6. Greg Boudonck February 5, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    Bill, great post. Wow I hope my books aren’t being used like Sear’s catalogs.

    Yes, I have watched as I have done a better job on my books too, but they are still far from perfect. On to the next though….

    • Billybuc February 5, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      Exactly, Greg, on to the next, and the next after that, and the…..

      Thanks, buddy. Have a great weekend.

  7. ruchira February 5, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

    I agree with your thoughts on re-editing your previous work, Bill.
    When I look back on my work…I always pause and comment, “jeez waht was I thinking”
    But, yes on the plus side…glad that i am growing 🙂

    Glad to read your blog even though it was two times in a week…lol

    • Billybuc February 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

      Ruchira, I really overdid it, didn’t I? I promise only one blog next week. LOL Thanks for being patient with me.

  8. phoenix2327 February 8, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

    I agree perfection is something to strive for. I always set out to achieve this. Knowing it’s an impossible goal (we’re only human after all) doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. At least I know the end product is the best I can do with the skills and knowledge I possess. There is always room for improvement, to be sure. I think the trick is not obsessing over what you should have done better but how the next project will be better. Good post, Bill. Lots of food for thought.

    • Billybuc February 8, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

      Zulma, I love your last point….not obsessing over what we could have done better. I’m getting better at this but it is not easy for perfectionist. Sigh! Thanks, my friend, and Happy Sunday to you.

      • phoenix2327 February 11, 2015 at 9:18 am #

        No it isn’t easy. It’s a constant struggle which I can appreciate. But it does have it’s uses. We know that next time it will be perfect…ish.

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