Over the past couple of days, there have been some posts on being good enough vs. being perfect on a few of the blogs I follow: Jessica Faust, an agent at Bookends, says good enough is not good enough; and Jodi Meadows, assistant to Jenny Rae Rappaport, weighs in with her take on why you shouldn't settle for good enough, but there's only so far you can go in your quest for perfection. Jodi Meadows also refers to a post on a blog I don't follow.

I have to say I agree with both Jodi and Jessica.

I completely understand where Jessica is coming from. As writers, we shouldn't settle for just being "good enough"—we need to make sure our work is the best it can be. But...perfect? I don't know if anyone can aspire to perfection and not go insane in the process.

I've worked in the communications industry for 10 years now, with a good chunk of those years spent as a proofreader/copy editor. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that writers need feedback for the true potential of their work to be realized. Not only that, they need knowledgeable, professional feedback. As aspiring fiction writers, where else are we going to get that, other than through an agent or editor? (Unless we invest in a "book doctor"...but they can do more harm than good, sometimes.)

I'm not saying that, as writers, we should submit something we know has flaws. We need to make every effort to ensure our manuscripts are as clean as possible, that our plot is logical. Where we can, we need to enlist help to critique our work, whether it's through an online forum or a local writer's group.

But nothing compares to the feedback and expertise brought to the table by an agent or editor. They're the professionals; they're the ones with the specialized knowledge that most of the people in our lives are going to lack, the knowledge that will take our work from as good as we can make it on our own to perfect.


TOPAZ status: I revised Chapter 15 last night and posted it on the WD Forum to some glowing reviews that made me smile. I knew the chapter was better, but it was very satisfying to get that feedback. Thanks, guys!