Perfection as a Flaw

It took me nearly 3 years to release my first book.

That is a long time, for a novel of this size. Part of it was fear (read about Why I Gave Up On My Passion here). A major aspect was the paralyzing obsession of perfection.

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. It is art.

Love it? Hate it? Like perfection, it’s all about perspective!
Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

I was petrified when I released the first version of my book. Did my editor and I catch all the grammar/spelling mistakes (spoiler alert: we didn’t). Was my book cover good enough (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). I would spend hours poring over formatting and word choice. There was always another mistake or another way to do things. I was completely miserable.

We hear about different personality types all the time. Back when I was kid, it was divided into Type A or Type B (now there are many different personality type tests, which are less rigid). I was classic “Type A”. Perfectionist. Stubborn. And WORRIED. Oh man, how I worried. This unfortunate trait continued to adult hood. I worried way too much about what others would think about me if there was the slightest mistake in my book. So instead of releasing it, I spent my time finding other things to check, other things to revamp. I fixated on the imperfections, and time flew away.

There is no such thing as true perfection. It is an abstract idea, completely unattainable.

I wish I could say I had an “ah-ha!” moment and realized that perfection wasn’t attainable. In fact, it took a lot of podcasts, breakdowns, and discussions to bite the bullet and just send my story out into the world. Now, 8 months later, I look bad and reflect that all my fears were not real. Things can be changed. The spelling mistakes were fixed. The cover is now updated (check below, gorgeous right?!).

The Reaper’s Contract (The Beast King Chronicles Book I) by Emma Sheppard

What is real is the feeling of accomplishment and pride about my book.

What is real is the book I can hold in my hands.

The pit in my stomach is gone. And now on releasing my next book, I have a better understanding of the process, an amazing person with hawk eyes to help me edit, and a cover designer to match my more realistic idea of “perfection”.

Just let it be easy. Life is too short to let perfection stop you.

~Emma~

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