Saying "No" to Perfection (November Theme) by Kristin Levine

Here are five reasons why saying "no" to perfection has allowed me to become a better writer:

1. Instead of agonizing for hours about whether or not a query letter was too informal, I decided to try just sending it.  Result: I ended up with an agent.

2. The chapter ending I wasn't sure was quite right?  Instead of spending hours writing different versions, I decided to get a second opinion.  That's what editors are for, right?  Result: she either loved it (all done), hated it (okay, so I need to try a different track) or didn't even notice it (but I learned I need to work on that chapter opening instead!)

3. Letting my younger daughter watch Dumbo over and over again when I was finishing up my second book and too poor to hire a babysitter?  Maybe not my best parenting moment.  But the magic feather from the movie ended up playing an important role in my book!

4. That draft that was due on Monday?  And I decided to turn it in late and go to the gym instead?  Well, taking care of myself and my body enabled me to finish it in record time the next day.

5. Struggling with writers block?  I just say "no" to good writing and encourage myself to write something really bad.  Really really bad.  Like I literally write down "put joke here" or "something interesting needs to happen in this scene" and most of the time, I can fool myself into writing something that isn't half bad after all.  

 6. (Bonus reason) Saying "no" to perfection has let me be part of this blog - even when I don't have the time to make sure every post is phrased just right!


  1. This all sounds so familiar Kristin. Thanks for the reality check. Now it feels okay to reside in a writing place removed from perfection. It's a much more comfortable place to be.

  2. Okay, now that post WAS absolutely perfect!

  3. Great post and so helpful to me right now.

  4. Wonderful post, Kristin! I agree with Darlene; such a great reality check.


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