I’d like to say that I’ve learned from my process of publishing other books. Technically, I am more proficient and I have an internal recipe for how I want my books to look at feel. But my process to implement those things continues to be plagued by my relentless (and exhausting) pursuit of perfection.
In some ways this is good. I can look back on my books and feel that I got it right (though I will admit to finding a minor typo on one that will undoubtedly linger until I’m back in the States to fix future printings…haha It’s something I overlooked a million times and I’m sure others have to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to fix it–I’m still a work in progress haha).
In other ways this perfectionism is exhausting. I’m currently working on my fourth book—a book of haiku poetry entitled: HAIKU to be free that I’m really excited to share! But for now, I’m finding myself in the familiar loop. I make changes, then change my mind and undo those changes. I find a minor spacing issue on one of the covers and redo the graphics. I realized that many of the haiku I wrote were 5-8-5 instead of 5-7-5 (I was listening to music in a restaurant while also trying to count on one of the days I wrote them) and thought it was a good idea to go back to change them to the 5-7-5 haiku format.
But thankfully I have great friends. One in particular told me that those changes might not reflect my earlier intention and could lose something in translation (thank you Lelita!). She was right. When I went back and read the updated poems and compared them to the originals, there were some cases where I went too far. And other cases where the change made the poem a bit more obscure. Nothing major…but not worth making the change in the first place. I’m a rebel, after all, and I was happy to make note of that in the back pages of this new book after re-adding the “mistakes” ;) haha
The changes I kept were minor contractions (e.g. changing “you are” to “you’re”)…things that didn’t change the meaning, but did simplify the flow. There were cases where I know I placed an extra “and” or “that” to add what I thought was the extra syllable I needed in my mis-counting. I’ve left those out when they haven’t added anything to the haiku.
I am about to start what I hope will be my last review (my sage sister Iris keeps telling me to walk away hahaha!), and I have to remind myself that I just started creating this book 4 days ago! Unfortunately, my perfectionism also tells me that I should be able to craft the perfect book in one day haha As a result, I’m not great at eating and sleeping on schedule while I’m doing these creations…but I’m trying to be better.
I was inspired to take time out from that process to just say that perfection plagues us all from time to time. We have to remind ourselves that what we’re stressing about doesn’t really matter as much as we think it does. (I’m writing this for myself haha)
All-in-all, I’m really excited to share book four! It will be an eBook that I’ll be giving away for free! in celebration of the completion of my first season (50 episodes!) of my podcast, “Live Free with Selena Sage” (which can be found at anchor.fm/selenasage). Thank you for your support of this project and others!
To be among the first to get HAIKU to be free, please take a moment to visit zentaobooks.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page to subscribe. When the book is ready, I will be sending an email to subscribers on that list with a code to download this ebook for free!
Below I will include a picture of the original haiku I wrote…and the main picture for this post is from the restaurant were I wrote many of the haiku earlier this month! I hope you will enjoy.