Creating something is more often about hacking together a half-finished, half-decent deliverable and tweaking it until it runs. Then you can think about turning that half-decent into something great.

I recently came across that observation on a blog, and it struck a chord because I’ve inadvertently been doing that for the last few months with my new Etsy shop.

When I started it back in September I didn’t know what to expect, whether I would even get a sale out of it. It was pointless spending hours crafting the perfect products or making my shop homepage look amazing if nobody was going to visit. But if I did see some success I could tweak my product offering, polish everything up, etc. So far, the shop is growing every month and providing good pocket money. I continue to develop it, based on feedback, visitor stats, etc.

But can any of this be applied to writing? Certainly the editing of a book follows this by default. After all, it’s impossible to create a perfect draft on the first go. But what about after? How do you know when your novel’s great, and not just half-decent? When a friend tells you it is? When an agent finally agrees to take you on? When you see your work on bookshelves?

If nothing else, this definitely represents a +1 for self-publishing.