I had an interesting conversation on the subject of Precision with the husband a few days back. And since then, I have been mulling about how what he said applies to writers as well.
Basically, he gave a few examples of excellence and precision (yup, we’re geeks, him more than me, so yes, we do talk like that now and then! ) : Lego, Swiss watches and German machine tools…no, this is not a plug (at least not a paid one) for any of these products…but each one is known for, you guessed it — Precision: Exacting standards in product-making, which makes the product stand out over every other competitor.
For Lego, it’s the “‘clutch power,’ i.e., the ability of its bricks to snap together tightly while also being easy to separate, thereby readily allowing for de- and reconstruction.”
Anybody who has played with Lego bricks can vouch for the tiny thrill you get when one brick smoothly attaches to another. This effect is something many plastic toy brick makers have tried and failed to achieve.
And since writing is on my mind all the time, naturally I got thinking about how this applies to being a writer as well. See, I am one of those people who run short on patience…I want my novel to have been published yesterday. After all, I’ve been thinking of writing one since ages (and even came very close last year) But it’s gonna take a while. And while this bothered me earlier, I’m learning to make my peace with it.
Because, the stuff that really matters, that really counts, needs a little more love and attention than just rattling out something you’re not going to be so happy with.
I have been talking to a few established authors (hope to publish some of our talks on this blog in the near future…they’re very inspiring!). And ALL of them have said that it’s a must for a writer to take the time to fine-tune her writing, to edit without mercy, to re-write, and then re-write some more. Honing your craft, they call it. In other words, ta-da, Precision!
Do you think Precision is a highly desirable quality? Have you ever sacrificed precision for a deadline?