It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect

Guys! I'm sort of freaking out right now.

I plan on sending the first few chapters of my new novel to Agent Jim but I'm nervous. Actually, I'm pretty scared. What if he doesn't like it? What if he really doesn't like it? In short, my stomach hurts.

For the past few days, I've been editing and re-editing the first three chapters of my manuscript, adding new details and then deleting them and then adding them again. Yesterday, I spent ten whole minutes fretting if I should use "for" or "from" in a certain sentence. Damn it, I just want everything to be PERFECT!

But then I realized something...

I have become a crazy woman. 

Seriously, Caroline? "For" or "From"? Who the hell cares?! And so, I gave myself a time out and then I created a new mantra:

Eh? Eh? Catchy, right?

I really like this new motto of mine but it's still hard for me to let go of my perfectionist tendencies. (Case in point: it bugs me that I didn't properly center the "but do check your grammar" portion in the image above.) But I've come to the realization that it's okay for my book to be imperfect. In fact, I should stop trying to aim for such an impossible goal!

(Ha! I'm sure you're thinking: "Well, duh, Caroline. Thank you, Captain Obvious. Now I'm going to go read Jessica Spotswood's blog because she's so much less neurotic than you are. Plus, she talks about cupcakes."

Anyway, you know what has helped me come to this realization? Remembering how imperfect my first novel was when I sent it to Jim. Granted, I thought my manuscript was pretty kick-ass at the time but then I received my revision notes and I was like, "Oh...." I couldn't believe all of the things I had missed! Like a rounded-out character arc. Like inner dialogue. Like important world-building details. 

My little book was terribly imperfect--even after I implemented Jim's advice--but you know what? That's okay. Books don't have to be perfect before you send it to your agent or editor or crit partner. They're not meant to. That's why these people give you revision notes! 

So. I'm going to take the plunge and send my excerpt to Jim this week. Yes, that's what I'm going to do!

But, wait. Maybe I'll do it next week instead... Hey, BEA is coming up! I don't want to bombard him!

Excuses, excuses. Someone please slap me.