Get Your Good Ideas Out Into the World Even Before the Prose is Perfect

file7101279567713Publishing is not always a literary enterprise. Idea entrepreneurs are not competing with Faulkner, Hemingway, or Fitzgerald. Their goal is not to craft timeless prose and artful images. Rather, it’s to promote ideas that make difference when they’re implemented.

For example, I’m a big fan of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. At the same time, I think the book could benefit from another edit.

Sometimes I wince when reading David’s blog posts and newsletters. He dips into the jargon that’s affectionately known as “GTD speak.” These are sentences that I can unravel only because I know his system so well.

The bigger picture, however, is that David’s ideas have helped me tremendously. (Here’s a nice summary.) Judging from the sales figures for his books, I suspect that the same is true for a couple million other people.

Please understand: I am not advocating sloppy thinking or substandard writing. Craft counts for a lot in all aspects of publishing.

Craft, however, is not the ultimate consideration. What matters most is solving the problems that are experienced by members of your target audience. Your first job is to remove the barriers that stand between them and their dreams.

So, don’t worry about polishing your book to the level of Biblical prose. Sometimes good ideas transcend your expression of them. Isn’t that comforting? It means that you don’t have to become Shakespeare before you make a dent in the universe.