From the President’s Desk – Mediocrity

Copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

“Do not be satisfied with mediocrity.” St. John Paul II

Any person who settles for mediocrity in terms of his or her spiritual life is setting himself up for failure.  Reaching high for the virtues and striving for perfection isn’t always easy, but it’s always worthwhile.  None of us will ever be perfect, but we must try.  Most of us will fall short frequently, but as Catholics, we’re blessed to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation to give us the grace to be better people.

Authors who settle for mediocrity with regard to their writing are also setting themselves up for failure.  Articles and books that have not been professionally edited will frustrate readers. These authors can become known for their mediocre writing, and readers may not return for more.  If you’re posting to a blog, ask a writer friend to be your second pair of eyes. If you’re traditionally publishing a book, your assigned editor will help make your book as professional as possible. If you are self-publishing, please hire experienced and professional editors to edit your book. Most importantly, humbly consider any and all suggestions from your editor.

Don’t settle for mediocrity in either your spiritual life or your writing life. Strive to be the best you can be!

Special thanks to CWG member Allison Gingras for featuring my third novel, Stealing Jenny, during her radio show, A Seeking Heart, this week!  Check out a few of the shows here:

And, today, I’ll be live on A Seeking Heart from 10:00 until 10:45.  Listen live here at this link:

If you’d like to call while we’re on the air, here’s the number: Call 1-855-949-1380

CWG News:
We  have an upcoming live conference in July in Somerset, NJ (July 22-24) and registration is now open.

The Catholic Writers Retreat is taking place in late October.  Your Word is my Delight takes place October 25-29, 2015 at the St. Francis Retreat Center, 703 E. Main Street, DeWitt, Michigan 48820. Register on line at here at this link, Click on Other Offerings, or call 866-669-8321. $490 for five days.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me: president (at) catholicwritersguild (dot) (com)

In Jesus and Mary,

Ellen Gable Hrkach

About Ellen Gable Hrkach

Ellen Gable Hrkach is an award-winning, Amazon bestselling author. Her five books have been downloaded over 620,000 times on Kindle. Currently, she works as the Marketing Director for Live the Fast, a non-profit Roman Catholic apostolate based in Boston. She does freelance writing and editing for a variety of other websites, she blogs at "Plot Line & Sinker" and is also self-publishing book consultant and a publisher. She and her husband are the parents of five sons ages 16 to 28 and live in Pakenham, Ontario. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys playing board games with her family, watching classic movies on TCM and reading on her Kindle.
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4 Responses to From the President’s Desk – Mediocrity

  1. I do not disagree with anything in the article but I do have a question, what does one do when they have written a book but absolutely cannot afford to hire an editor. Their current income is just enough to pay the bills. They are writing with the hope of making things better financially.

    I have also watched videos by people who claim to make a lot of money selling on Amazon. They specifically say not to wait until the book is perfect but to get it out there. I would not want to put out something that is terrible but between terrible and perfect there should be a point that is also better than mediocre.

    How big of a difference is there between many beta readers and a professional editor?

    • Ann Frailey says:

      Just a thought, Dennis. I was reading an article today by an extremely successful author (40 book and a movie), and she remarked that the market is so glutted these days that even professional writers with many books under their belts are having to work twice has hard to get half the income they used to. Her main point seemed to be that quality has to be the highest priority ever in order to get your work seen. In my opinion, we (Catholic authors) don’t write just to be “successful” in the world but to reflect some element of truth which belongs to God. I have had to slow down and publish less so that I can save the money to get my material properly edited, designed, and proofread. One book may take years – but at least I am putting out the best I can. And if I (or readers) catch editorial errors, I pull it off the Amazon shelf and fix them. Your work reflects you – and as such I really believe your work deserves the best attention possible and as many helping hands as you can find. God bless your endeavors:)

  2. Dennis, you can find great editors/beta readers who might be willing to barter their services. I’ve done this before with other writers. With all due respect to those “authors” who claim to make a lot of money…I don’t agree with publishing a book before it’s polished. “Between terrible and perfect?” As a reviewer, I’ve seen enough “terrible” stuff to cringe. “Perfect?” There are rarely books that are perfect. But don’t settle for mediocre or less than polished. I believe that a book should be the best it can be before it’s released, especially if you’re self-publishing. Self-published authors have already gotten a bad rap and authors who decide to publish their books before they’re polished are selling their readers short. Money should never be a reason you can’t publish a quality book. Critique groups are also another wonderful resource if you can’t afford an editor.

    • Ellen, I agree and have used Beta Readers and critique groups for my work.They read my efforts and I read theirs. I also use Spell check and Grammar check and read, re-read and re-read aloud again and again and again.