Perfection is the enemy of living

Holding my book for the first time. Image owned by author.

According to writer Joseph Epstein, “81 percent of Americans feel that they have a book in them — and should write it.”

My wife refuses to believe this statistic.

Further research on the topic (okay, one Google search) indicated that only 3% of aspiring authors finish a manuscript and only 20% of that small group of finishers actually publishes a book.

It’s a daunting task, writing a book. There are hundreds of potholes that can prevent someone from starting, never mind finishing a first draft. Finding the time to write, fear of failure, proper motivation — knowing the why behind the book.

But ultimately, it’s likely the pursuit of perfection that holds us back. We want each word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter to perfectly capture the fascinating story that exists within our minds.

By the time my dad’s Alzheimer’s began to take over his life for good, in 2018, I knew the time had come to pursue my dream of writing a book. The impetus for writing the book was awful, cruel, and unfair — anything but perfect — but it was right there in front of me, staring me down.

My dad and his story were slowly dying, and yet, I felt as if mine were only just beginning. My ADHD brain allowed me to go all-in on the project.

I joined Medium in 2021 to hone my skills and build writing muscles. I published a few articles early on but found it harder than it should have been to publish more. Too many tips, hacks, and pressure to build my audience, get paid for my writing, and publish quality articles.

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash
Image owned by author

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