Thursday, February 25, 2010

No Limit For Better

Words of wisdom from Harrison Ford. He tells a story that when he was a carpenter and working with a Russian architect, he wanted to change something a half of an inch and she said, "no limit for better"--a credo he's lived by and a great one for me too.

Harrison claims, "You keep on going until you get it as close to being right as the time and patience of others will allow."

I like that he allows for the variables of time and patience. That works for me. Before ever submitting my work to contests or agent consideration, I always make it the best I can at that time. But if I learn something at a conference workshop, I'll immediately revise other books so that they always reflect my best effort. It's as close to being right as I can make it given my current skill level and life circumstances.

The more I write, the more I realize that though I may be the author, my stories are really collaborative efforts. I can only take it so far, and then a critique buddy or friend offers a terrific idea for a plot twist or brilliant characterization moment.

Truth be told, I'm instantly thrilled and annoyed that I didn't think of it since it's my book and I know it and my characters so well, but I'm over the jealousy in a nanosecond and thrilled that someone offered me a way to make my work better. No limit for better.

Not being open to No Limit For Better, in my opinion, breeds mediocrity and a continued unpublished status I don't particularly desire, so . . . I'll try to remember this when I get my next critique and hear something I might not want to hear. No limit for better.

8 comments:

Donnell said...

I love this, T! Thank you!

Toni Anderson said...

Great post :)

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

I always say it takes a village to write a manuscript, at least it does when it comes to my writing.

Kaki said...

Great stuff, T. Words to write by, and your work reflects that philosophy. Thanks for sharing.

Kathy said...

Thank you for sharing this fascinaing and how true. IF a partner or another set of eyes makes you see it differently and in a better way you are moving forward not stagnating. Thanks again for a great post.

Peggy Blann Phifer said...

This is great! Thank you!

Leslie Ann said...

OOOOHHHHH,
I love this. Thanks for posting it T.

No limit for better...my new motto.

Maybe I'll make us T-Shirts that say that :)

ciao
~LA

Kaye George said...

Love it, Theresa! A good thing to remember.