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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Last Mile

The term "The Last Mile" came from the push to get phone lines to every person in the United States. The real problem, and the most expensive part of the process, was getting the line the last mile down the road to the houses of people.

It was easy to start the process. The first few miles were close to the phone company and a natural extension of what was already happening. But the farther from the phone company, the more spread out the people became.

Still, getting to the towns wasn't terribly difficult. There were highways that led to most of those. What was the real issue was that last mile from the towns to each person's home.

I struggle with the last mile in almost every project I do. I want to hurry up and start things, but I don't want to finish them. The minute details. The endless polishing. The last, lonely, long mile of it.

But the last mile is the difference between a professional and an amateur.

It's easy enough for anyone to start something, but to go through all the thankless effort of finishing well is the mark of a true professional.

My first published book wasn't professional. People read it because, I think, the content outshone the flaws.

But instead of rushing out my next book. I'm forcing myself to walk the last mile. To re-read what I wrote and others have read.

I really don't want to do this. That's why I must.

How do you deal with the last mile in your work?

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