Perfectionism

I spent three hours last night reading through the current draft of The Fires of Ra, which is heading off to the editor on Monday. Other than a few small issues, it’s mostly ready. However, I’m not ready. Reading through it I can see several things I’d have done differently if I wrote them today – and I only penned them within the last year!

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus supposedly said “No man can step in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” That saying is very true for the relationship between an author and his or her written works – we always see things we’d like to change, because our perception has changed, perhaps even just a little, since we last wrote it. The more time goes by, the greater that change in perception.

But there’s another saying that applies, this one by Leonardo DaVinci: “A work of art is never finished, only abandoned.” At some point, every writer must simply declare his written work finished and push it out of the nest. There will always be small things (or large things) that could be revised, reworked, replaced – but unless one stops that urge, the work will always languish in an unfinished state.

From here out, any changes will have to exist in my head. I’m proud of what we (Darrell and I) have created and I’m sure people will enjoy it. And that’s all I can really ask for.

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