Good. Better. Best.
So many areas of my life I choose good or better, when what I want to choose is best. But sometimes I can’t recognize “best” until I look back. So then was it “best” if I didn’t know it?
I run into this as a writer. I think my writing improves with each book. At least I hope so. After finishing (writing, rewriting, rewriting and rewriting!) each one, I’ve sat back in satisfaction and declared I’ve done my best. Then I go back and re-read—a week, a month, a year, a lifetime later—and I peg it as good. Or maybe better. Certainly not best.
That’s why revisions are so difficult for me. I go into the manuscript to change one thing and instead change ten—completely rework a scene or move it to a different chapter. By the time I finish, it is very different from where it began. Which is a good thing. I think. But does that mean all of that work took it from better to best? Would it have been the same result with less stress and headache if I’d just gone in and fixed the identified problems?
I wrestle with these questions as I am on week three of revisions and feel like I’ve made about as much progress as a turtle climbing uphill through molasses. And yet I feel good about the changes I’ve made.
Am I just a hopeless perfectionist or is this a healthy work ethic, a striving to do my best as until the Lord (for I can truly say this work is my offering to Him)?
Any thoughts out there in cyberspace? I’d love to hear them!