It’s Been Said
Good enough is never good enough.
That’s supposed to be an inspirational phrase – do better if you can! – but I’ve always found it to be kind of depressing. I know I’m taking it wrong when I read it as “no matter how good you do something, it could always be done better,” but that’s how it always strikes me. It comes from the same place that knowing there is always someone better at doing the thing you do best. In a world of 6 billion people, that seems like the only logical solution, so I like to think of myself as a “realist.” To most folks, realism sounds like pessimism, and is often even confused with fatalism, and there isn’t much you can do to change their mind about how you come across to them.
I think maybe it breaks down something like this:
- Optimism: “I could get really awesome at this!”
- Pessimism: “I’ll never be able to do any better.”
- Realism: “I’ll never be the best at this in the world, but with work I could at least be better than I am right now.”
I’m shooting for realist, but maybe there’s some truth to other’s assessments about where I fall. Guthrie was specifically talking about writing, and it’s often been said that good editing makes great writing, so the idea is that you keep working on it and reworking it until you get it right.
I think maybe I need a good editor.