Writing Wednesday: Good Enough

Last week’s goals: The usual 3 blog posts. Stories cycled to market as soon as markets were available. Still managing to comment on others blogs (although it does require CONSTANT reminders to myself.)

Goddesses, Sleep with the Snowmen, and Other Fantasies is available for preorder ahead of it’s November 30th release date. Since it’s a collection, I also need to create the paperback; this will be the first one I’ve done since Amazon absorbed Createspace into Kindle Publishing, so we’ll see how that works now…

I wrote 1490 words of fiction last week in only two days (first revision of “The Cats Out of the Bag”.) That’s just under half of my quota, but I’m more disappointed that I’m still not writing every day like I should be.


It’s now almost fifteen years since I returned to writing as part of my Midlife Renaissance™ (I wonder if there’s a way to monetize that?), and a decade since I considered “Passed Life” to be complete after about three years of writing and rewriting (actually, looking back at my notes, maybe five years from start to last time I made changes in between submitting to different markets.) Back in those days, I believed a story was supposed to be rewritten many times, until it was finally DONE.

But what does DONE mean? My own personal experience (and what I’ve observed with many writers) is that DONE is a combination of two things – a quest for perfection (which we should all know is unachievable – there will always be something that can be changed to improve a story), and a fear of rejection (which is why most would-be writers never submit a single story.)

It took me a couple of years to realize that if I continued on this path, “Passed Life” might very well be the only story I ever write. This didn’t seem either productive (What – just ONE story? Such a legacy…), Or enjoyable, for that matter – there are very few books or films I have wanted to experience over and over again – why do that to myself with a story? I was writing for pleasure, and most of that is in the initial idea and the rough draft. Did I only want to experience that one time? Also, you learn more from writing twenty different stories than from writing the same story twenty times (and people who get into that pattern of rewriting often don’t know when enough is GOOD ENOUGH.)

So I set a rule – once a story is GOOD ENOUGH, it’s done. It goes out to market, and, as Heinlein’s Rule #3 says:

  1. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.

I’ve had one instance recently near enough to that request with “Interview with the Blue Neon God” that lead me to do a POST-GOOD-ENOUGH rewrite, but, aside from minor consistency changes to “Purr Mission” (because I hadn’t intended Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire to become a series), once it’s out the door, a story is DONE.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been tempted to violate my own rules. As I’ve been doing my FRACTURED FRAGMENT FRIDAYS, I’ve been forced to revisit my older stories (to decide on an excerpt), and catch myself thinking:

“I could have done this instead; maybe if I…”

But that’s as far as I go. I have eighty or so stories out there – more than enough to take up the rest of my life if I begin the never-ending time-trap of rewriting. My stories may not be perfect (no one’s are), but none of them are less than GOOD ENOUGH for the eyes and hearts of others.

If you’re a writer – keep yourself fresh – find your own GOOD ENOUGH.

(And if you’re a reader – pick up a story and enjoy! Just saying…)


Collection10 CoverNext up for release on November 30th – a new collection! Goddesses, Sleep with the Snowmen, and Other Fantasies contains ten short speculative fictions, including a previously unpublished flash fiction (which is why there are only nine covers pictured on GSwtSaOF’s cover.) The stories include “There’s No Present Like the Time”, “Cellfishness”, “Out of Place”, “All the News That’s Fit for You”, “Interview with the Blue Neon God”, “Goddesses”, “Victimless”, “Stalking Rebecca”, “Sleep with the Snowmen”, and “The Voices.”

Goddesses, Sleep with the Snowmen, and Other Fantasies is currently available for preorder FOR A REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at various online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/906524

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KFQGLSR


BreathingCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Breathing is Overrated” (I may have mentioned that this was one of my three Honorable Mentions in the Writers of the Future contest) – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri

• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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