I just finished reading Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favorite authors and my fantasy BFF. I cannot recommend the book enough (and I wouldn't have had to read it to say that - it's a pretty safe bet that anything by Gilbert will be pretty earth-shattering).
One of her nuggets of wisdom that most threw me for a loop was that she had an under-developed character in The Signature of All Things. (Ummm...who??? Cuz that book seemed pretty darn amazing to me.) And she published it, anyways.
She published it, anyways.
Cue up the chorus of angels.
I have been internally cringing over the mistakes and one under-developed character, in particular, in The Poison Box since it was released into the world in April 2014. And let's be clear: This wasn't some creative flash that I penned in a few months and threw into bookstores saying, "Hey, here it is!" No, it is something I will always consider one of the great works of my life. Not great as in, "I think it's SOOO awesome and I'm such a good writer I can't stand it!" but great as in, "I spent almost 20 years writing this book and poured my blood, sweat, tears and soul into it." It was an enormous task and at some point, I had to stop trying to fix it. I knew that, instinctively, but I have always felt uncomfortable about it.
Hearing Gilbert say that she was okay with the choice of not taking the risk to dismantle her novel and trying to fix its shortcomings (and again...what exactly was wrong with that novel???) and putting it out into the world anyways...holy you-know-what.
It's okay. The imperfections are okay and don't diminish the beauty of our creative work. We just have to remember to keep putting it all out there.
And in the spirit of this imperfection, I had to make this video in my car - yes, you read that right. The weather wasn't cooperating so I just went for it, like Gilbert went for it with her book and I went for it when I put The Poison Box out there. Here it is, in all its perfect imperfection.