I’ve been seeing this phrase a lot on social media (Twitter, mostly) and, much as I related to this quote, I didn’t really know who to attribute it to until today. A quick Google search led me to Jake Parker, a Utah-based artist who has worked for big studios like Marvel, Disney Animation, and Warner Brothers Animation and who has apparently created the #inktober challenge. Check out this inspiring Finished, not perfect video below:
Two years ago, I came across a similar mantra when I joined Arianne Serafico’s #DareToShare Instagram Course: Done is better than perfect. I find myself always going back to these words whenever I feel like my manuscript isn’t going anywhere, or I’ve strayed from my outline for the nth time, or worst of all, I feel like deleting my entire manuscript out of frustration.
Finished, not perfect. Done is better than perfect.
Before I could publish a book, I need to write it first. Nothing is going to happen if I stall and drown myself in an ocean of Oh no, this will never be as good as *insert author’s book here*. The best thing I can do as an author is to nurture my story, make the most of it as I possibly can, and keep going until I reach the end. It doesn’t matter that it’s not perfect. I belong to a community that will help me shape whatever I’ve created into its best form, and that process, to me, is more important than getting everything perfect/right the first time.
So why am I really writing this blog post? I’m actually trying to make myself feel good about finishing a manuscript, no matter its flaws. Yeap, you read that right! I finished a manuscript!
About #ProjectDatu AKA The Struggle
For those of you who have already read Like Nobody’s Watching, you might remember one of Pio Alvez’s brothers, Datu Alvez. He’s an indie film director with a temper, but I’d like to think he’s a marshmallow deep inside. #ProjectDatu AKA the manuscript I finished last month, is his book, his journey toward finding his own HEA. I have already written a short story that featured him (Rushes, from Second Wave Summer), fully intending for it to be the jumping off point of his book. It took me almost six months I think to fully flesh out his story in my head, and for the sake of accountability, I announced this on Twitter a little over a year ago:
Untitled, ??? 2019
Determined to become a mom despite the absence of a man in her life, MC opts for an IVF procedure, which turns out to be a success. When her first love comes back into her life, though, things get interesting…and complicated.
— t a r a 🐰 #ProjectDatu in Progress (@tarafrejas) December 5, 2018
Of course I still had delusions of grandeur back then. What 2019 release? *CACKLES* I didn’t even start writing until March of this year. Ilusyonada. *cue paluan*
It was a bit of a struggle writing this one, and I was…surprised, I guess at how much energy it took from me. (Check out this whole ass Twitter thread for my journey.) It could be argued that I also was having a super busy year in terms of work, so maybe that was also why I usually felt so exhausted after writing several hundred/thousand words. But one of the best things about my writing journey this year was the #romanceclass sprints, where I got to do four 15-minute sprints with fellow #romanceclass authors and share snippets of what we’ve written afterwards. It’s a bit draining and there’s some level of pressure, but it helped me so much in completing this book. So yeah, thanks, sprinters! <3
(We’ll resume the sprints soon, by the way—let me just get a handle on all my work stuff. *dizzy emoji*)
If everything goes according to plan, you will be meeting Datu and Kalila within the first quarter of 2020. I might be brewing something special for my newsletter subscribers, so if you’re not yet part of my mailing list, please click on this link to subscribe! For now, I leave you with this #ProjectDatu Pinterest board I have been adding stuff to since I began writing the book, and this Spotify playlist / #ProjectDatu Mood Music I put together.
In the meantime…
It’s 15 days till Christmas and I’m looking forward to a long break because I am planning to catch up on sleep and my Kdramas (I just started Chicago Typewriter and I’m planning to watch Bring It On, Ghost as well), and outlining my next book: #ProjectIsagani.
Good luck to me L O L.
Remember: Finished, not perfect. Done is better than perfect.
If you find these mantras work for you, then good. ^_^ Let’s keep creating and finishing many, many things moving forward, yeah? <3