These wise words were spoken by Leonardo da Vinci.
At some point, we all must say goodbye to our project, whether it be a book or a painting or anything else that you might have created. There is always the danger (especially for the perfectionists among is) that we will keep on polishing our projects forever, because it can be scary to announce that something is finished. You want to do everything you can to ensure that your masterpiece is perfect before you send it off into the world, where it will face the judgement and scrutiny of others.
But there is no such thing as perfection. Perfection is an ideal – something that can never be attained – because everyone has a different opinion on what constitutes perfection. So there’s no point chasing perfection because everything is imperfect. Of course, you want your project to be presentable and outstanding (who doesn’t want their work to be amazing?) but at some point, you have to move on.
Recently, I finished the third draft of my first book. After the major corrections were done, I nitpicked with grammar and punctuation for a while, but I eventually called it a day. In theory, I could have carried on redrafting forever, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I had to accept that “art is never finished, only abandoned” (thanks Leonardo) and finally say goodbye to my project.
It can be particularly difficult to move on if you’ve spent months (or even years) working on something. Nevertheless, life goes on. You must be brave and let your baby go. Soon enough, you will find something new to take under your wing.