Monday, May 27, 2013


Perfection is Overrated
As a child in summer camp, I worked on a woven craft with the help of my teacher. The craft was rainbow in color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple), but the last row of my teacher’s example was not in the correct color order. When I asked my teacher about the mistake, he told me he had done that on purpose as a reminder that only God is perfect. This lesson about imperfection can also be applied to the craft of writing. While I don’t think writers need to make purposeful mistakes in their writing, I do think that writers need permission to be imperfect. Permission to make mistakes allows writers to
·         avoid writer’s block,
·         accept rejection,
·         and grow as a professional.
Writers need permission to make mistakes while writing. I’ve heard that writer’s block is when a writer gets caught up in editing mode and can’t switch back to writing mode. By allowing himself to make a mistake, a writer can work on a story and allow the words to flow freely without being concerned with revisions. The editing stage will come later. Good planning does cut down on revisions; however, in order to edit a manuscript, a writer must first complete a manuscript.
Writers need permission to accept rejection. Almost every writer has been rejected at some point. I consider Frank Peretti to be a good writer, and I was amazed to learn that This Present Darkness had been rejected several times. My own debut novel was rejected before I later revamped it and then signed a contract with a publisher. I almost gave up on writing altogether at one point because I thought being called by God to be a writer meant that I had to be perfect, and if writing didn’t come naturally, then I wasn’t meant to write. But that wasn’t the case. Even pastors and missionaries train for their fields. Writers are no different. They, too, must continue to learn.
Writers need permission to grow as a professional. Sometimes writers receive criticism from others. It is okay for a writer to realize his writing may not be perfect. In fact, a huge turning point in my writing career was accepting criticism and learning from it. Later on, I was better able to separate good criticism from bad, but before I could do that, I had to be open to the possibility that my writing was not perfect.
The bottom line is that only Jesus is perfect. And that’s okay. If He wasn’t, then the rest of us wouldn’t need a Savior. Remember this, and every now and then, give yourself permission to be less than perfect.

About Heidi's book:
Dog Tags is a suspense novel that is set to be released on June 7, 2013, from Pelican Book Group, Harbourlight Book Division.
In Dog Tags, a former Marine determines to protect the woman he loves at all costs, and yet his own secrets might turn her against him forever.
Excerpt: The Knight’s mind clouded over, like fog settling over the local San Diego metro area. One thing was clear as he sat in his white, sparsely furnished living room: his goal. He must continue his quest to help damsels in distress, ones like Juanita. He hoped she’d listen to him, that she’d understand he only tried to protect her, that she’d appreciate his chivalry. But as he’d learned from experience, the women he chose to rescue might not always be cooperative. Being a knight in shining armor did not always prove an easy task. 

The finger in the jar atop the entertainment center served as a reminder: death was far kinder than the fate Juanita could have suffered at the hands of that other man. No matter what society thought, the Knight had done the right thing.