When Perfect is the enemy of good enough

Short stories and more information about my novel are coming. It may not be perfect but it will be interesting.

I want to be a writer. I tried starting a blog or a newsletter, or whatever this thing is, several times over the last few years and I'm bad at keeping up with it.[1] I've been writing a novel since 2011 and I'm bad about working on it for a while and then putting it down for a year.[2] I can't seem to finish a project if it isn't perfect.

As a leader at work, I tell my teams not to make "perfect the enemy of good enough". This thinking is the death of projects. Sexy start-ups fail because their founders are artists, or they want purity in their work, but at the end of the day, the business has to ship something to bring money in the door.

Perhaps because I live in that imperfect business world, now as a Chief Technology Officer, I'm more often on the business side, trying to make the dollars work and ensure the artists get paid. It's harder to see my writing as creating the perfect thing and hoping to get noticed, rather the ideas are what's important. They aren't perfect but they aren't useful if they aren't released to the world.

Over the past two years, I started several drafts that I didn't finish. Some were about tech and management, one dealt with race relations, and others were about the abysmal state of American society.[3] I couldn't bring myself to finish them because I couldn't find the words. Maybe it's because the last blog was supposed to be tech-focused and I kept coming back to more important things to talk about. Sometimes I feel I'm not necessarily the best voice to speak about important things beyond the obvious, "Things are bad, and we should recognize that."[4]

This is my line in the sand. I am a writer and I must release the words. They won't be perfect– especially here, but they will say what's on my mind and in my heart. I would like to get some third-party editing going but not until there are a few more subscribers. And if I don't, it's not the end of the world. It isn't my meal ticket. At least not yet.

Given that I've finished my discussion on deconstruction for the time being, I've been thinking about what I would do next.  I've decided the most prudent thing is to build up an audience for my eventual novel. Starting next week, I will be releasing short stories in the same universe. I've been kicking around some ideas for characters and side stories that won't end up in the main storyline and I'm excited by the prospect of sharing them.

To that end, I am slowing my postings down. It has been hard to keep up with three a week and have some semblance of quality. For now, I'll shoot for two. A short story and some other rant or musing.

Subscribe! And tell your friends who like sci-fi. We'll kick off next week with an introduction to the world.

  1. Eleven posts in the last month though!
  2. I've been better. The novel has turned into 4 books worth of content and has an actual plot now.
  3. We can't agree on problems, let alone on the solutions.
  4. Turns out, I don't have solutions either.

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Jamie Larson