…doesn’t exist. I’m convinced of it. From any aspect, no book is perfect. It has grammatical errors (and I speak from experience here: My last novel went through numerous iterations from me, from my editor, from me again, from the copy editor, from me again, and then I went through the galley proofs and still found 143 errors. I try not to glance at my book’s content once it’s in print out of fear of catching more errors, but I had to give a reading at a book signing, and–cringe–I found an error while I was reading. It’s not a good idea.), pacing errors, printing errors, word choice errors, and if by some minuscule chance all those errors don’t exist, then, guaranteed, the final product doesn’t live up to the author’s vision (mine never have) and there will be people who don’t like the book and others who absolutely adore the book. A perfect book is a mythological beast.
Which is why it is a fruitless goal to try to write a perfect book. Like life, a book will be messy. It will be messy while you write it, while you work out its kinks, while you “fix” it. And that’s okay. I believe a book should be messy. The entire process of writing is a an exercise of insanity which we try to justify by claiming creative license. That’s okay. Eventually we wrestle the beast into some coherent form (hopefully) and with even more luck (much, much more luck), we’ll find a few readers whom we entertain and, if we’re extremely lucky, whom we touch.
So my non- New-Year’s resolution, which just happens to fall on January 1, 2013, is to embrace the insanity and ride it; to enjoy the utter despair and the utter joy a writer feels during and after the process; to acknowledge the futility and do it anyway.
Happy New Year to you all.
Books I’m reading:
Mai Tai One On by Jill Marie Landis
The Lady Most Willing by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway