Tag Archives: personal

Settling for ‘Good Enough’

Not in your love life (hell no!). But in writing.

I know the ideal is to always strive for perfection, and to keep working until something is the best that it can be, both for yourself and for the thing. It’s Art, dahling.

Frankly? F*** that. In a general sense, I think that striving for perfection damages you. It will never be perfect. It will never be exactly how you want it to. My choice has always been to get it as good as I can, admit the flaws, then move on. I take what I’ve learned and I do better with the next piece.

However, in a specific sense, I do try to get the best I can. I do aim for some level of perfection. I want to write the best work I can; I want to iron out the flaws, fill the plot holes, make the characters tug at the heartstrings. I want my readers to immerse themselves in a story without getting dragged out by flaws or problems.

And most of the time, I succeed. If it’s three major edits and countless minor ones…or another proofread on top of the one I’ve just done…or a complete rewrite…I do want what I push out into the world to be as perfect as it can.

Unfortunately, for one piece that I’ve just completed, I’ve had to just say f*** that. It’s done.

It’s not perfect. It’s good, sure. It’s ok. It’s probably got some flaws and some holes. But meh. It’s as good as it’s going to get.

Part of the problem is that I’ve had so much criticism of the piece that I can’t see where the flaws are any more. I don’t have any distance or confidence in myself to be able to fight back. I’ve been advised to almost completely re-write it, and that is a bit of a shock when I considered something pretty good. Is my judgement flawed? Am I wrong? Am I truly as crap as I feel when I’m reading the critique? I have tried to take the advice on board, tried to be reasonable, and some of it I have accepted and changed. But…at the point that I’m shouting at the screen? At the point I’m nearly in tears? At the point I’m considering giving up writing, because I obviously can’t do this? No. I can’t do more work on this; I just can’t. It’s finished. And that means that my choice at this stage is simple. I put this work out in a format that’s Good But Not Great, or I scrap it. That’s it.

So much as it frustrates me, I have to accept my limitations. I am not perfect, and in this case, I have not achieved the perfection I wanted. It’s not awful, sure. But it’s not as good as I want it to be.

And in this case, I’m fine with that. I make that choice, and move on. I’ll do better next time. I have to do better next time.

And I think that’s what matters: keep learning. Always keep learning.

Blog Birthday! Writing&Coe is four!

Over the four years, I’ve published 537 posts…70 writing and 67 reviews, and the rest either blog or assorted! I’ve had 8610 views over the past year, and 3756 visitors. It’s pretty good for a small blog about me, writing, books, crafty stuff and anything else I feel like writing about – so THANK YOU FOR READING!

I’ve been so disorganised this year that I don’t have any Kate writing freebies, but I can point you in the direction of some freebies from my publisher, Kristell Ink…there’s a free copy of Amunet (steampunk Victoriana adventure with a lot of mystery, a dollop of magic and some really good characters), and also a Rafflecopter of freebies including an Amazon gift card, easter eggs (just in case you’ve run out) and paperback books. Go enter at ttps://www.facebook.com/KristellInk/?sk=app_228910107186452

Portal Cake

Also have some cake, because…

Well, cake!

By the way, the next Greensky book is out soon – I don’t have a date yet (we’re waiting on cover art) but it’s coming!

Abusive relationships and friends left behind

I follow the social media of a friend in an abusive relationship, because it’s one of the only links I have left to him. It’s hard when he hasn’t posted for a few weeks, or is really excited about something. I want to connect, I want to reply, I want to check he’s ok. But I know it would only cause trouble, both for him and for me. Even posting this has the potential to get me in trouble; it’s a fine line to walk, but it’s a situation that bugs me and this blog is for my personal thoughts – so hey, what the hell. This is what I think.

Being in an abusive relationship sucks, and watching from the sidelines also sucks.

We can’t reach out. He thinks the world hates him, and he believes that no one wants to be friends with him. Despite words, emails, gestures…there is only so much you can do against someone who really doesn’t want to believe, and has been systematically cut off from anyone who could show him a different view.
But the relationship isn’t everything. We want him to do better in his love life, yes, but it doesn’t meant that’s the be-all and end-all. We revel in his every moment of happiness and small victory. We root for him when he struggles. We enjoy the moments of life that he shares with the world. He’s building a life for himself and building himself up, which is brilliant; I wish we could share in that, but it’s fantastic to see it happening even at a distance.
I wish I could do more. I wish he’d believe that people like him, share his interests, want to know him. But…
Well. What happened, happened, and it’s as much his choice to be where he is as it is ours to remove ourselves from a situation that was made harder by our presence. He’s not in any serious danger; it’s mild emotional abuse from someone who genuinely intends no harm, but doesn’t see how often they cause it. It sucks for us to not be able to contact someone, even as an acquaintance or just to check on them, without it opening a can of worms. But that’s the path he’s treading, and it’s better that we’re not causing problems for him by trying to stay in contact. All we can do is be ready to offer support as and when it’s right to do so again.
We’re still here. We haven’t forgotten you. We don’t hate you. If you choose another path, we’ll offer whatever support we can to make you realise that you are worth so much more than you think you are.
We’re here, whenever you want to reach out. We’ll answer.

Coding again: CodeCademy

I’ve been using CodeCademy this week. It’s a web package that lets you learn a whole variety of coding languages by doing exercises and seeing what happens! I was warned that it might annoy me, but it’s also considered a very good learning platform, so – I had a go!

It did annoy me. But it’s also a very good learning platform. So…best of both worlds, I guess?

I’ve got a number of languages on my list; HTML/CSS, Sass (a type of CSS), Javascript, JQuery, Command Line, and also Git & website uploading. Obviously, I already know HTML and CSS – and those were the bits that were very frustrating! Yes, I know how to write a table. Yes, I know how to change fonts, and WHY ARE YOU HARD CODING COLOURS SERIOUSLY DON’T DO THAT.  Argh. CodeCademy also has a mix of practical exercises and then projects, which allow you to use your skills in a more free-form environment. However, the HTML/CSS ones are incredibly repetitive; I like some of the others as they’re more structured to what I just learned, but to be asked to put a background image on for the fifth time…BLEG.

I’m currently on Javascript, which I’m finding hard as my brain just doesn’t get the logic of the language, but I love Sass – it’s essentially a shortcut way of writing CSS and it looks wonderful. I’m also halfway through Command Line, which lets you move around/create/delete files on your computer without using the mouse or clicking through folders, so that’s useful to know even if I won’t use it.

There are bugs in the platform; you can’t vary your techniques (so I got caught out on the HTML/CSS one a few times, as the way I’d do something wasn’t the way they wanted me to do it) and the error messages can be frustratingly vague when it comes to working out what I’d done wrong. I’d really appreciate a crib sheet or some way of just getting reminded about commands, too; if I’ve learned something literally two minutes before, I may just need a reminder of exactly how to spell it – and not the answer given to me! The platform bugs are probably the most annoying part; several of the CSS and Sass pages wouldn’t work unless I had Chrome on 60% zoom, despite a comment from others that they needed it on 100%.

Anyway. Essentially, if you like step-by-step tutorials, it’s a good learning tool. It doesn’t provide useful help – I could really use a crib sheet or a reminder tool rather than the Q&A forum or ‘assistant’ who I’m not sure how to contact – and it has some frustrating usability bugs. But overall, if you want a basic grounding in the languages, give it a try. It’s free for a basic version, and worth using to see if you get on with it!

I don’t have anything

Having accidentally missed a post on Monday, I was hoping to have more words today. I was feeling good over the weekend – I had energy!

But today I’m just drained.

The garden’s growing. The walls are getting covered in plaster. I got a little bit of writing done. I met Ryan’s family at the weekend, saw my own, had ice cream, did a lot of driving. I’ve got new review books and the cat likes me.

I’ve got a lot of big life changes happening at the moment, and while I knew it was going to be hard, it always feels different when I’m living it.

I’m still here. Just very tired. But on the plus side, that means the cat gets all the cuddles!