I’m currently editing a manuscript for someone who shall henceforth be called Friendie MacQuaintance. It’s a cracking good story but when I had my editor conversation before starting, Friendie said I should just do a polish. They just wanted it good enough to publish so that they could start other projects. Friendie knew that “this story won’t make me as a writer” so they were content with just finishing it up as easily and quickly as possible.
I was shocked because it had never occurred to me to do just good enough when writing. Even these blog posts get a couple of edit passes. Although, that might just be my OCD. Friendie’s story is pretty darn good as it is, but a few more drafts could really make it shine.
Of course, having said that, Friendie is a published author and I am not. So is good enough the way to go?
To test this idea, I opened up one of my many, many half-finished projects and gave it a quick scan, trying to imagine sending it out into the world for publishing. I only got to page two before the flinching got too severe to continue. Clearly, “good” is not enough for me.
The question is, am I being too uptight about making my writing perfect or is this just an example of two different author approaches, both of which will work for different people?