Just get something on the page

There’s a saying, “Done is better than perfect.” Some artists live by that phrase. Others criticize it. They think it gives people a hall pass to create shoddy work. But those people don’t know what they’re talking about (and their unaccomplished desire to create something meaningful also plagues them).

“Done is better than perfect” is the mindset for the first draft, not the final piece. It’s easier to edit something that already exists than to come up with something new.

Neil Gaiman encourages young writers to just get started, saying, “Anything you do can be fixed. What you can’t fix is the perfection of a blank page or the unsullied whiteness of a blank screen.”

Starting is important because unattempted greatness will always leave you feeling like the 45-year-old high school quarterback who missed their big break. Thing is, you haven’t missed yours yet.

In How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, Arnold Bennett warns: ”Until an effort is made to satisfy that wish [to do something great], the sense of uneasy waiting for something to start which has not started will remain to disturb the peace of the soul.”

Get something on the page.


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