Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wasting Time Searching For the Mot Juste

At what point does it become a waste of time to search for the perfect word?

I spend an embarrassingly large amount of time choosing words in the posts here at QWT. I send each post through multiple edit cycles--each time stripping them down, and selecting, changing and eliminating words. I keep editing until the ideas behind each post are in the clearest form possible.

Don't waste your time like I do. Yes, you should edit your work. But don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don't let editing and agonizing over word choice delay you from putting your ideas out in front of your audience. Build your body of work first and get it out in the open, even if some portions aren't flawlessly phrased. You can always improve them later.

The point is to get writing, to finish things, and put them out there. And then to learn from the process and improve. Don't wait.