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Give Me Excellence. Not Perfection.

Excellence, not perfection: a writer's thought for the day based up on Ecclesiastes 11:4 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips

Don't you love to see "excellence" listed as one of an organization's core values?

Me, too.

On the other hand, when I see an organization conduct its ministry half-way or half-heartedly, I must confess I hesitate to engage.

If they're not willing to serve and communicate at a high level, maybe that group is not worth my investment of time or money, no matter how much I like their mission. 

Excellence is worthy goal -- one worth your intentionality -- in your writing.

Is There a Downside to Valuing Excellence?

If there's a downside to valuing quality, it is this: excellence can become the idol of perfectionism.

When "perfect" is your goal, it's easy to get bogged down because the article or blog post or first draft isn't "up to my very high standards."

There is a clear line between writing with excellence and never getting anything done. In the writer's world, "The Perfect Piece" does not exist.

That's why I love these words of wisdom from the book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived:

"If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything." (Ecclesiastes 11:4)

As a writer, I take this passage to mean this:

Write well. Push yourself. Write as well as you can at this moment. And then keep moving forward to the next writing task.

Learning to Judge the Weather

My ideas, content, craft (Solomon's "wind and weather") should be excellent, of course. But they never will be "just right." Because a writing ministry involves imperfect people.

Rather than having "perfect" wind and weather, I'll opt for "excellent" every time.

This way, my seeds get in the ground. Plants grow. I see the harvest. 

And along the way, I learn how to better structure ideas, content, and craft to be more excellent next time. 

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Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

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