Good Enough

DaveK's picture

I occasionally read blogs where the theme is "good enough isn't good enough". This sounds stupid to me. It's like saying green isn't green. The context is that you should write and edit repeatedly until the prose is perfect then send it to an agent. That only the very best writing will get published. Has everything you've read been perfect? I didn't think so.

Good enough is just that- good enough for the context in which it exists. I write a grocery list. On it is breed. Do I need to correct the spelling? No. When I get to the store I'll know I need bread. The problem arises when you don't know what good enough is. Let's say I've written a perfect little story. Hard to believe but go with me here. I send it in and it gets rejected. Why? By definition it was perfect. So why did it get rejected? Did the magazine have a similar story already purchased? Did the editor hate the premise of the story? Did someone dump coffee on it and it never got read?

Or, I write my usual and it hits a mag that is in need of a story and mine is the best of what is available. Yes, I know, but this is a fiction web site. A few edits by the editor and it is good enough. If I had waited a few weeks to polish it the time would have passed.

So what do you do? You make it good enough. Proper English, proper format, correct spelling and grammar, as good as you can make it and still finish it in a reasonable time. Then start the next one. It will be better. After all you are more experienced. It's the old 80-20 rule. It's speed chess. It's Kobe practicing free throws even though he hits them 90% of the time.

On a pleasant note I've had two flash stories picked up by Flashshots. No word yet on when they'll appear but it will be mid March at the earliest. Plus you'll get to see a photo of yours truely.