Lesson 7: You’re not perfect

Pill tablet

Here’s a bitter pill to swallow.  You’re not perfect – neither am I.  In fact, I don’t think anyone is perfect.  Can we say boring?  I can even if you can’t.  Truth be told, who wants to be perfect?

… Oh, wait, I do!  I forgot, how silly of me! …

As a person, moving through life and all it’s hazards, I find perfection to be overrated.  Like I said, I think it’s boring yet, I have a condition to that statement.  I don’t expect to be a perfect wife, mother, designer, house keeper… the list can go on.  I don’t expect my loved ones to be perfect either.

I do expect my writing to be perfect.  Yes, go ahead and say it.  Double Standard.  I’m aware of this character flaw of mine and I dare anyone who writes to prove to me they don’t have the same flaw.  We want our writing to be perfect.  You know what, let’s expand our circle of finger-pointing.  I dare anyone who has an A-type personality to prove they don’t want to be perfect.

Now, I don’t know much about psychology despite my boss being one.  I only have a basic understanding on the difference between Type A and Type B.  With what I do know, I think writers are Type A-B.  We need elements of both so that we can push ourselves to write the damn book then pull back to be patient for the rest of it to flow.

Mount Everest (topgold)

Here’s the thing though.  When it comes down to it, perfection in our writing can’t be attained.  It’s like climbing Mount Everest and expecting Heaven to be on top.  In Ancient Greece when they had Mount Olympus as the ideal, sure, they may have had that perception, but in modern times I think we’ve come far enough along to realize that you’re only really high as opposed to in Heaven.  (Then again, some people may feel that it is Heaven minus the pearly gates if that is your cup of tea).

My point, and yes I do have one, is that while I don’t like this lesson I think it is a valuable one.  Not only for writers specifically, but for people in general.  Trying to aim for perfection for our writing is a waste of time.  It can’t be attained and the reason for that is while Reader A likes your book, Reader B won’t.  Who are we trying to impress then?

I’d love to say only myself as that would take a ton of stress off our shoulders, but it’s not true.  We’re writing to impress the agent, the publisher, the half of the public that we hope enjoys our book.  It’s like a catch-22.  You’re damned if you don’t try and damned if you do.

For me, I keep trying, but I make sure to tell myself that perfect is defined as good as it gets.


One thought on “Lesson 7: You’re not perfect

  1. Very true. (And I did check my emails, thanks – will drop you a line back!). I am a perfectionist but only when it comes to myself and what I do and I get so cross when I can’t achieve things. I do expect to be the perfect mother, wife and author but I have kind of realised that ain’t gonna happen and in any case, how do we measure perfection? What is perfection to one person is mediocrity to another… so I think your definition of “as good as it gets” is pretty spot on. (Except for my book of course, which is perfect! Lol.)

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