Creativity and Courage: Discovering the Magic Beyond Perfection

Embracing Imperfection: My Editing Journey with Dare to Decide

I never imagined the thrill of handing off an imperfect early draft of my Dare to Decide book to my first beta reader. It felt like I had discovered magic beyond perfection. “Of course, it’s imperfect – it’s a draft,” you might be thinking. Yes, there were typos and missing words. I was okay with those because they would be fixed in the final drafts.

No, I’m talking about missing chunks in chapters and pages where I stopped mid-sentence in a rewrite because my inspiration dried up. There were chapters where I didn’t say what I meant to say and it bugged me. As I hit send on that email, I marvelled at how far I’d come as a recovering perfectionist.

Seeing Imperfections as Progress Markers

A few years ago, I would have prolonged it, fixing as much as I could. I would have been stressed out, wondering what someone would think and if I’d be misjudged because something wasn’t complete or perfected. I would have over-apologized, making sure they know that I know it’s not perfect, and cringed anticipating what they might say about it.

That moment I hit SEND on my email, I just felt aware. I saw the imperfections for what they were: a draft of a book progressing toward the day will bring hope, clarity, and relief to readers at their crossroads, points of discussion I couldn’t wait for her to read so we could talk it out, signs that I have grown since I first wrote those passages, and the way I see things has shifted.

Unlocking Courage: Magic Beyond Perfection

So why was it important to pass off this imperfect draft of my book? While doing my best and offering quality work were still important values, I had started seeing the magic beyond perfection. Sometimes, the clarity and confidence you need for a breakthrough is on the other side of letting someone see your imperfections.

Revision is a crucial part of the writing process, as it allows you to refine your ideas, improve the structure of your work, and ensure clarity for your readers. However, I had taken my manuscript as far as I could on my own. The process of revising your own writing can be challenging, as it can be difficult to see your work objectively. I knew this was where having beta readers came in handy – allowing someone else to read my imperfect draft could provide valuable feedback and insights. Would my tone come across clearly, or was it only in my head? Where in the manuscript did they get bored or cynical? Did my flow make sense?

Weeks later, I sat in Starbucks, giddy as I read my beta reader’s comments throughout the binder of pages. I’m sure I looked a little odd if someone were watching my giggling and pondering. The clarity from her feedback gave me such clarity on how to make my next revisions, it was exhilarating and worth the risk of her misunderstanding any of my imperfections.

Stepping into Courage: Dare to Release Imperfect Creations

Have you been hiding something you’ve created or delaying a decision because it’s not perfected and polished enough? What if the very imperfections you’re ashamed of are what would bring the connections, inspiration, or clarity you need to move forward in your calling?

This week dare to release something imperfect into the world.

Is the imperfect thing you’re hesitant to let out in the world a book you felt God placed on your heart? Is it mostly written and you’re afraid to let anyone see it, like I was at first? What if you experience a little motivating fairy dust and magic beyond perfection? Choose your scary, courageous, messy first step today — and let me know in the comments what it is!


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