A friend recently told me a story about a pottery instructor. This instructor was teaching two groups of students the same course. At the start of the term she told the first class that their final grade would be decided by their best pot, and told the second class that their final grade would be decided by how many pots they made. At the end of the term, the second class were all making better pots than the first class. They hadn’t worried about perfection, but they’d got lots of practice, and so they were making great pots.
It’s a useful lesson for anyone creative, which is to say anyone at all. There’s no such thing as perfection, and the more we strive to make a single work perfect, the less we’re able to move on, get feedback, try something new and generally improve our craft. Mur Lafferty, one of my writing heroes, returns to this theme over and over again in her podcasts. As a writer, you should write the best thing you can, but not spend forever refining that one project. Nothing is perfect, but the more practice you get the closer you’ll come.