Good Enough

Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would write a blog with the title “Good Enough.” My driven and perfectionistic personality simply wouldn’t allow for it. Fast forward and this is exactly where I am and what I want to talk about … good enough. 

This summer I have been a substantive editor for a book manuscript. Between 300-400 pages of information on a topic that I am only very marginally informed about. What I estimated as around 80 hours of work has exceeded that number, and shot past it in hours of unforeseen labor. I did not get in on this project at the beginning stages. I am neither a co-writer nor a ghost writer, but an editor that has had much work to do in terms of rearranging, rewording, and reworking the manuscript. It has, at times, been exhausting.

I am now nearing the moment where it gets handed off to a copy editor; and my need to have my work (or perhaps my need to be) perfect has made a grand appearance. And I struggle. I work some more. I re-edit what I have already edited several times before.

And I realize that there needs to be a time when it is good enough. 

A small example of my neurosis flared recently as I re-purposed postcards to announce an upcoming concert of mine. First, the labels did not get formatted properly, so that some lines of print were cut off mid-line. Next, after eye-balling and doing my very best to line up the labels, they did not get affixed to the postcards in a perfectly level way. After a sigh and a swallow, knowing that I had no more labels, and a time deadline in which to deliver the postcards, I called them good enough. 

And that’s when a new thought came to me. While these little postcards may not have turned out to be the best product, a perfect product, they were the result of my very best effort at the time. Given the supplies and ability and energy that I had available in that moment - I did my very best. And that my friends, is good enough!

Share your experiences with good enough in the comments. We can learn from each other!

Leave a comment

Add comment