“Well done is better than well said.” Benjamin Franklin
Pithy and powerful, isn’t it? These words marching across the page are more than just a witty saying, they’re are a call to action! And sometimes we need to heed that call: We need to stop dreaming and start doing. Stop musing and move forward. Stop telling everyone what we’re going to do and Just Do It.
Stop talking and take action: This is simple, but it’s not easy. Or is it really easier than we think: Just do it. How hard is that? Right now, I’ve reached a point in my novel where I’ve revised it from stem to stern. I’ve deepened my characters’ emotional lives. I’ve tightened the plot. I’ve made story-enhancing changes suggested by gifted readers with sharp eyes and enriching sensibilities. I’ve talked and mused and dreamed. I’ve written and revised and rewritten. I’ve made my story truer, deeper, stronger. Now it’s time to act: To dive into the chilly waters of submission.
Yes, it’s much more reassuring to stay in my comfort zone and keep writing and rewriting. But I’ve reached the point where rewriting is tinkering and not improving. Yes, it’s easier to stay in the Land of Possibilities: to dream and share my dreams about my story without sending it out into the Land of Hard Knocks and submitting it to agents. But if I do that, it will never see the light of day – it will languish. I’ve worked hard and my hard work deserves better from me. I’ve created a whole world with characters I love and believe in: They should reach the readers who may be waiting to love them as well.
How about you? Are you working on a project that’s in danger of being overworked? Are you dreaming instead of doing? Musing instead of moving forward. All this is easy for us as writers: we’re dreamers by definition. But we also need to be doers. Dreamers and doers.
There’s a saying I quote in Birthing the Elephant, my start-up action guide for women, that springs to mind: “Don’t get it perfect, just get it going.” Great advice for us all as we write on!
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