Looking for Perfection

DSC09849Some of our family members will be moving soon. Others are hoping to. Over the past year we’ve helped both families scour real estate advertisements and follow umpteen For Sale signs in the hope of finding the perfect new home — the perfect location, the perfect condition, and the perfect features at the perfect price. Apparently it doesn’t exist.

My hubby and I have moved many times during our years serving in different churches. Often we lived in manses — houses provided by the church — but in the latter years we bought our own homes. Price was always a determining factor, but except for when I was running a business and the space had to accommodate my equipment, we didn’t have a lot of requirements. We needed three bedrooms, one of which would be used as an office. With four children an ensuite bathroom was desirable, as was a fenced yard for the dogs. We ended up with some less-than-perfect houses, but we moved right in and made ourselves comfortable anyway.

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I’m sure our families will eventually find the houses that are right for them, too. They won’t likely be perfect, but they’ll meet the necessary criteria and will quickly evolve into comfortable ‘home central’ sanctuaries .

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I thought of all this after reading DD Shari Green‘s blog post yesterday. The question was asked, “In your writing life, and in particular your efforts to reach your March Madness goals, what’s your Biff?” The reference will be familiar to those who are “Back to the Future” fans, but if it’s not, feel free to stop reading and whip over to Shari’s blog to discover its background. Go ahead. I don’t mind waiting….

Did you notice all the “Biffs” people mentioned in their comments — obstacles such as rambling writing, health issues, perfectionism, self-doubt, tiredness, guilt, fear of failure, procrastination and lack of initiative. A few even mentioned their children! So many things stand in the way of creating the perfect book.

In a perfect writer’s world there would be limitless story ideas, uninterrupted blocks of time to develop them, a driving desire to write, and a lucrative publishing contract plus oodles of readers waiting when we’ve completed our perfectly written book. That’s in the perfect world. The one that doesn’t exist for us any more than the perfect house does for my family.

DSC08776Instead, we may have to compromise a little and recognize that while perfection is beyond our reach, producing a well written story isn’t. We have to write (and finish) it, improve it with revisions, get it thoroughly critiqued, revise it some more, then, even if it’s not quite perfect (and it won’t be), send it out into the world. Omitting any of the necessary steps dooms us to the rank of real estate ‘looky-loos’, ever dreaming, but never taking action to help the dreams become reality.

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