November 7, 2011

Green Means Go

by Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor

What if you never left home until you felt certain all the traffic lights between your home and your destination were green? Don’t laugh! We do that every day in one way or another. Yes, we put things off while waiting on perfection to occur. There are two problems with this. One is perfection in one person’s eyes is not perfection in another’s. The second follows which is, and my apologies to my 9th Grade English Teacher Mrs. Thurman, “ain’t no such thing as man-made perfection.”

One of the most common areas in which we look for green lights in writing is editing as we go. Instead of writing our blog, short story, or novel we edit it. We look for errors in grammar, sentence structure, plots, character building and the like as we write. Instead of completing our train of thought and then edit, we constantly interrupt it with the thoughts of perfection. I have seen some write as if their piece was to be used as an example of the perfectly written work for generations of writers to follow. Again pardon me Mrs. Thurman, but “chances are it ain’t gonna’ happen.”

The same is true for marketing. What appears to be the perfect marketing plan for one author may not work at all for another. That plan that appears to be perfect was most likely successful after many yellow lights and red lights got in the way. It seems to be perfection now that we are hitting more and more green lights as we go but we still have the occasional yellow and red.    

Preparing the perfect marketing plan is a great idea but you must put it into action to see if it works. If it doesn’t work we must be able to recognize the fact it doesn’t and adapt accordingly. Slow down at the yellows, stop at the reds and continue on with the greens. By the way the reds can be tricky. Abide by the laws and watch for the cameras. There is a reason you need to come to a stop so do so and think about your next move.
What keeps you from leaving home? What are the green lights, perfection, you are waiting on? Identify them for what they are (excuses, procrastination, nerves) and pull out of the driveway. Before you know it you will be cruising along and thinking everything is green.

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