Friday, March 17, 2017

Humility vs Perfection and the sweet space in between

Humble is a good place to live, right?

I've had an interesting week. Shackles, the first novel that I wrote (over a decade over *cough*) never found an official publishing home. It did get my foot in the door with my current publishing house though, so I'm grateful for that.

A few years back, I read Shackles again and I still loved the characters and the plot. At that point I decided to put it out as a 'warts-and-all' freebie to give readers the opportunity of checking out my writing. Bait, if you will. I even wrote a 'warts-and-all' disclaimer in the preface because I just wasn't going to re-edit the whole thing again. (Besides, I'd checked it twenty-trillion-times and had some others look over it for errors too and we were all happy that it was fine.) I knew I'd have to re-edit at some point, but with new books to be written, that never really loomed large on my horizon.

Fast forward a few years to this week.

Out of the blue, four new reviews arrived. Check them out here. All of them positive - some so lovely that I wanted to cry and hug my dog. Considering my allergies, that is quite something. 


A significant number of these reviews commented on a few grammar and typo issues.

*DIES* but (even bigger BUT...)

Here's the weird thing, they loved the book anyway.

My immediate reaction was to start re-editing. Sorry kids, make your own supper. But I'm also currently writing to deadline. So what is a girl to do? I feel like I'm parading Amazon in my ancient bikini, the one with the elastic that has given up on life. 

It is humbling.

But it's also beautiful because I know that what they are falling in love with is not my broken ability but they are seeing Jesus through the cracks of what I can produce and are loving Him in the midst of typos and dodgy grammar. 

It just doesn't get better than that.

So I do have a chapter-a-day-only-after-I've-met-my-word-count editing plan. But it will take time and in the meantime, I'll be out there warts and all for the world to read. And strangely, I'm okay with that.

I'd love to hear from you. Perfectionist? Any humbling happening in your life right now? Please tell me I'm not alone in my ancient bikini.

Dianne J. Wilson writes novels from her hometown in East London, South Africa, where she lives with her husband and three daughters. She is neck-deep in a three book contract for a YA series, Spirit Walker, with Pelican / Watershed.

Finding Mia is available from AmazonPelican / Harbourlight, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores.

Shackles is available as a free ebook from Amazon & Smashwords.

Find her on FacebookTwitter and her sporadic blog Doodles.


  1. Well Diane I have just been to Amazon and read the blurb about Shackles. I'm hooked! Your book is now in my kindle library ready to read. Looking forward to it.

    1. Ruth!!! This makes my heart so happy, thank you. Sending a huge hug your way!

  2. What a beautiful cover? It is hard to do everything perfect, isn't it. okay. . .even impossible. I had a book come out recently that was edited by my publisher and several have let me know there were a number of errors. Yikes. Definitely felt like something had come loose in that ancient bikini. :-) But I also know what a blessing those comments were from people who were blessed by your book. Keep moving forward!

    1. Thank you Lisa! Gosh it feels so exposing. Especially when one is fussy about getting things right. But I must say, I can see that I've grown in skill as a writer and that is just lovely! Appreciate you Lisa xx

  3. You are never alone and definitely not now! I love the chapter a day plan. My editing tends to take over too much (I've even edited Facebook comments, how perfectionistic is that?) but I am learning to limit my editing. Your post was a pleasure to read and motivated me to finish my next vlog right now "warts-and-all"! I know, the packaging can be important, but you are right, in the end it's the message that counts. ;) P.s. I have joined Ruth Ann and downloaded it right now and will hopefully start reading soon. Looking forward to it!

    1. Sending a huge hug for you Sue. We should have some t-shirts made... warts-and-all! :D :D :D Looking forward to your vlog. Lots of love!

  4. Downloaded your book a while ago Di, but I confess it got lost among the millions of Kindle books. I will dig it out and read it this time! Thanks for the nudge. Oh yes, warts and all. I'm in for that T-shirt too. As you know, I am doing a series of e-Books on ladies in the Bible. The very first one I had critiqued and edited by a number of people, edited it myself until I could almost recite it off by heart, listened to my computer read it back to me, the lot. Then I put up the previous saved copy by mistake! OH BLUSH!!!! It was only up for about a day before I noticed it, but wouldn't you know it? It was the day it sold the most (free day!). About those T-shirts.

    1. Oh my goodness Shirl! And I know how much errors bother you! *Hands you a shirt* I've made peace with the fact that humble is a beautiful place to live, and even better since I'm in such great company!

    2. I tell you what, it may be a beautiful place to live, but I sure work hard at never repeating that faux pas!