I figured out why I like these two things so much: both are never-ending works in progress. You can practice them for hours on end, day after day, for years, and never master either one. There's always room for improvement, something new to learn, a technique to be honed.
They're both impossible, too, if your standard is perfection. And that is the standard. Why would you settle for anything less when you can see it in your mind's eye. That single pose executed with grace and control, even if it was only one of a hundred you did that day. For an instant, it was yours. That solitary sentence, honest and true. Yes, perfect! Even if just a word.
In other news …
I received my editor's feedback on Leverage at the end of September and spent much of October rewriting. The comments were extensive, constructive, and incredibly helpful as well as encouraging. On the developmental side, she suggested I include a formative event in my protagonist's life as character-in-action rather than backstory, so I added two chapters in the beginning. She also encouraged me to draw out and provide more detail in various places in the latter half of the book, which she felt were “rushed.” She was right about that too. After she pointed it out, I remembered the feeling of running to the finish line when I wrote the first draft. I'd skimmed over lots of juicy details, which are now included.
The word count jumped from 67k to 76K, so it has more depth. Overall, it's a much stronger manuscript, but is it good enough? Two beta readers are with the manuscript right now, and I can't wait for their feedback. When I hear from them, I'll let you know.