Somewhere Between Finished and Perfect
An argument could be made for a Harper Lee. She wrote one book. (Her "second book" was a marketing money grab by the publisher, because the second book was merely the crappy rough draft of her first book.) It was a groundbreaking masterwork, and has become one of he most--loved novels of all time. (It's personally one of my favorite books.) It won a Pulitzer.
It was the only book Lee ever wrote. (Again - two were published. But the second was a first draft. Not a sequel.)
Compare to Corín Tellado. Most of my readers probably haven't heard of her. If I have anyone reading this from Spain (or another Spanish speaking country), you may have. She's in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most published author in the Spanish language (at least at one point. Those records change from day-to-day). She published over 5000 titles and sold over 400 million books.
She wrote romance. I don't know that she won any awards. But she put out a lot of work. She's the definition of prolific.
Are quality and quantity the right indicators?
I'm not saying one is any better than the other as far as personal legacy is concerned. Both of these women were well paid and lived full lives.
You and I need to come to peace about quantity and quality - and if you're struggling with "The Gap" I wrote about on Monday (which I am - hence this week's blog posts) - consider leaning to the side of quantity (hence this year's daily blog).
Do a lot of work. Put it out there. To use Jeff Goin's turn of phrase, "practice in public."
The Bane of Perfection
Sometimes the desire for perfect puts significant restraints on actual production. Rather than putting out an imperfect blog post, publishing a book you feel needs more wordsmithing, or calling a painting "finished" event though there may be some coloring tweaks - many never put anything out there. Ever. I wonder how many people never accomplish what they'd like to - and never produce what they could - because the bane of perfection never allows them to call it "done"?
The Discipline of Finshed
And that's what it is, really. A discipline. Closing the gap between your taste and your current capability in anything requires you do the work - and you do a lot of work. A lot of words. A lot of colors. A lot of sales appointments. A lot of glass blowing. A lot of whatever it is you want to do. And get better at.
Do the work - and put it out there as "done" - even though it may not meet your standards of perfection (taste).
It's the only way to get better.