Key Lessons of Writing a Nonfiction Book: Lesson #9
In the last update in this series, I shared lesson #8, which was about the importance of pre-order sales and book reviews. Today’s post is about perfection.
How many of us are perfectionists? If you're not one, you're sure to know one or two right?
What is perfect anyway? What's perfect for me may be different for you, so isn't it made up in our mind, defined by our own thoughts and beliefs?
Lesson #9: Perfection should not be your goal
As I was writing this lesson, I couldn't decide what to call it, should it be:
Perfect is perfect now
Redefine expectations of perfect
Know your expectations of perfect
Perfect isn't the goal
And so on…
As you can see, I could go on and on with thinking of a 'perfect' title and then realize I lost the plot and didn't provide the key message. It's the same with almost every aspect of your book.
This isn't to say that you shouldn't have or shouldn’t set high standards, or that you shouldn't do the best you can. It's more about not beating yourself up in the process, and accepting you do the best you can, with the resources and knowledge you have, at this moment in time.
Every aspect in the process of writing and publishing my book, took a significant amount of time; time to learn and time to do. If I didn't draw the line somewhere, I would never have made it to the 'publish' line.
For example, I could continue editing my manuscript until the end of time. Each and every time I read it, I see something I could improve, or something I could say in a different or more concise way, or something I could add or take away, and so on.
Another example where I experienced this, was with the cover design of Natural Healing Techniques. There were several concepts presented, and I initially felt most did not represent or convey what I envisioned for the book.
When I shared the initial design concepts with others, I received a wide range of feedback for each concept. At some point I just had to make a decision. I could spend more time and have additional design concepts developed, or move forward with one already presented and see how it goes. I choose to accept one already presented. This decision caused me a great deal of angst.
Ironically, now that Natural Healing Techniques, Get Well & Stay Well with Asian Bio-Energetic Therapy is published, one of the first, and unsolicited, bits of feedback I regularly receive, is how much readers like the cover. Even bookstore personnel comment on how they like it. Is it for everyone, probably not. Is it perfect? The answer is in the eyes of the beholder, isn't?
Do set and maintain a high standard
Do the best you can, with what you have now
Accept that YOUR idea of perfect may not be the same as, or even matter to your reader
Continuously review, learn and adapt where needed
Give yourself credit for all that you've accomplished and celebrate your milestones
Check out the event page to find the nearest book signing event.
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