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054 - Done Is Better Than Perfect!

done perfect Jun 26, 2020

Have you come across this phrase yet? I’ve heard this phrase has been seen on the walls at the Facebook offices. And, for sure, this applies to writing a book!

Hey Guys! Nicole Gabriel here! 

It has been said that this is not about coming up with ideas; it’s about believing in them…and having an attitude that compels you to run with the idea before it’s too late.

I liked what author Anne Lamott said about perfectionism:

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”

I tell people that when I wrote my first book I had it sitting inside of me for ten years, but it was barfed out in just 10 days! Maybe you’ve heard authors talk about page vomiting? Yeah, that’s sort of what it felt like when I wrote my first book. Its kind of the idea of letting go of all thoughts and releasing them to the page, then cleaning it all up and letting the editor make things pretty.

And, I almost hate to admit this, but I tasked my editor with only one thing with my first book…can you please be sure to remove any negative references to my ex husband? Yes, I actually wrote it all in there and actually paid him to take it out! Talk about a novice! You know that saying “what happens in vegas, stays in vegas”? Well…what happens with the editor, stays with the editor. And a little side-bar for you…it’s kinda best to stay away from slandering anyone…it may come back to haunt you later! All ex husband slandering aside…

Yoga. Yoga was my therapy for all things ex-husband. Speaking of yoga, one of my most masterful yoga teachers is a fan of Leonard Cohen, and perhaps you’ve heard this one…

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

— Leonard Cohen

Sometimes we even have to crack a little bit to simply allow the words to flow. As I’ve said before, when I write its a form of therapy and I’m a bloody sobbing tearful mess during the entirety of the process. And, you know, it's funny, when you are not in a certain state, it can even been hard to write. I’ve had another book inside of me for awhile, but for a few reasons I cannot birth it. Actually, you know, I’m fighting myself on this one. It’s another slobbery wet tear-jerker that I’m not entirely sure I want to cave into. I want to be happy and write the end of the story…you know, that one that ends with me riding off on a white horse in a sunset. But, the perfectionist in me says, well…now that’s a lie! You aren’t at that perfect state of being yet…so you can’t write that book! Done is better than perfect, right? But, is it really? 

I’ve been asked about creative and business writing training and if it’s worthwhile. Of course it is if you’re just a really terrible writer, you want to up your game, or you’re enhancing creativity as an author. There is nothing wrong with this. 

But, honestly, if you were passionate about a subject it would naturally want to bleed out onto the pages. So, if you are forcing yourself to do anything, you may not be as successful in its creation or its output. You need to be in alignment with what you write because, guess what? It’s not going away once you write it. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Once you’ve written it, now you have to talk about it. For me, this is why my book sits inside me and hasn’t been birthed. I can’t say that the things I would write about at this stage would be 1: helpful, and 2: anything I’d want to seal in a binding and talk about the rest of my life. I think it may be just a matter of timing. I’ve been through some very challenging times the last several years. I’d kinda rather focus on the beautiful times ahead and manifest a new reality than keep stirring up old wounds. That book inside of me may eventually come out, but I’m still seeking a better foundation. So, another one may emerge in the meantime.

Have you seen the Cult of Done Manifesto by Kio Stark and Bre Pettis?

The Cult of Done Manifesto says:

    1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
    2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
    3. There is no editing stage.
    4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
    5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
    6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
    7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
    8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
    9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
    10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
    11. Destruction is a variant of done.
    12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
    13. Done is the engine of more.   

Wherever we choose to expose ourselves…books, social media, YouTube…whatever it is, we want to show up as smart, thought-out, put together, or otherwise targeted on what we are speaking about. A book exposes us. People may judge…but,

Benjamin Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said.

So when it comes to writing your book, it’s not always about creativity…and the right editor can most certainly help you with enhancing your writing.  The content really is only as good as what you will actually use when you get out from behind the book. You want to relate to the reader, sure, but when you write with purpose and passion you will have a tool to use for life. So, I guess in some ways that really is quite perfect…. 

Hiring a coach, an editor, and designer that know what they are doing will take all the pressure off of you and with a talented team of professionals there is always somebody that’s got your back. You see, most readers expect you to have some level of ability when it comes to writing, but they don’t always know you got help from an editor. 

And, when you get uber clear on who you are speaking to and why, you will begin to work outside of your ego and in more divine alignment with the gift of your message. 

So, perfectionism is an endless game. But, you will never know what a book will do for you if you never write one. Since only 2% of our population will actually ever write a book in their lifetime, isn’t done better than perfect? 

I can guide you on all the effective processes to not just get your book done, but also to write a book to enhance and align your message with your purpose. I am a book coach, designer, and fellow author and I’ve been doing this for more than a decade now. I absolutely (and passionately) love what I do and would be happy to guide you on your way to becoming an author! Drop me a text when you’re ready to get started. I always do a complimentary consult. (808)280-5559).

Wishing you peace, love, and light…

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