finding the right [words]

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” -@MargaretAtwood

this quote hits the nail on the head. wait, i’m not a handyman, that analogy’s not right.

this quote  is genius. wait, i’m not a member of mensa, how do i know what defines genius?

this quote rocks. wait, i’m completely tone deaf.

this quote is amazing. wait, i am no good at mazes and puzzles and suduku and logic.

this quote blows my mind.

SEE, this is why i often have a hard time getting myself to write. i am waiting for perfection to strike and that rarely if ever (ok, NEVER) happens with the first draft. i am waiting for perfection. that’s not normal. well, it might be normal for someone who isn’t published. and it might be considered normal for someone who is an amateur writer. and it’s definitely normal for someone who has some self-doubt swirling around in the head.

the act of waiting. is waiting even an action? it’s more like the opposite of action. and again, i am reminded of that scene in “the holiday” where kate winslet’s character realizes that she needs to be the leading lady of her own life. it seems i should follow her advice. it’s not proper to wait for anything and in fact, it’s something i despise doing. so why aren’t i getting down and dirty with words? why aren’t i down on the ground shoveling through missed metaphors and too long descriptions and poorly paced scenes? why aren’t i tumbling through paragraphs and sentences and phrases and fragments? it all sounds a lot more enticing than waiting.

the truth is, i have to write every day. and by “have to” i mean “should.” i should write every day to learn the cadences of words, the rhythm of storytelling, the rhyme of heartbreak, the sound of love, the pace of laughter. i’m not going to learn them by being afraid to write, by thinking it’s not good enough, by wondering who is reading. i am writing for me. to get better. to learn. to teach. to enjoy. to escape. to fail. to succeed.  the age old adage of “practice makes perfect” is true. i know it to be so from an athletic standpoint. and i’m learning it from a creative standpoint.

but for a small taste of something [i consider] extremely close to perfection, read this. this is the definition of an amazing writer because i have little in common with her (i didn’t go to an ivy league school, i wasn’t a lawyer, i’m not married, i don’t have kids), but her words drip with honesty and reality and humor and truths so raw, i have to check to make sure they’re still wearing clothes. in short,  i can relate to her. and her most recent post is one that i (hopefully) will have to deal with sooner rather than later. because in a life full of random, mismatched, silly stories, this is one story that i want to add to my collection. this is one story that i want to tell over and over until people can recite the story with me. and with the newfangled ways people have of meeting one another, it’s probably going to be a relatively crazy story and so i’d better get used to the idea of an untraditional beginning. (though i’d be perfectly happy to have a boring tale to tell).

NOTE TO SELF: see? this is what’s so cool. i started out with a quote about writing and ended up speaking/thinking/pondering about love. when i sit down to write, i never know what is going to happen. i need to embrace that. not be afraid. and just jump. and by jump, i mean sit down and tippity tap on the keyboard or swiggity swipe my pen across the sheet of paper. get ‘er done.

4 thoughts on “finding the right [words]”

  1. I love this post! What great timing, too. I’ve been having trouble with my book blog (no link yet:P) because I keep second guessing myself. Alright, Mumfusa and Margaret Atwood, I will stop waiting for perfection.

    PS I am now following Ivy League Insecurities, and through her blog, found White Hot Truth. I love the internet:)

  2. thanks for the kind words, gina. i’m glad my flaws are inspiring you. screw perfection, let’s be average together!

    and YES, don’t you love ivy league insecurities. i’m literally obsessed. white hot truth sounds sassy. i’ll check it out.

  3. Thank you so much for the kind words and link! This is a wonderful post for so many reasons. The quote is simple and compelling and so true. Life would amount to standing still if we waited for perfection. As a writer and as a person, I am not interested in perfection. I am interested in reality. And, yes, stories. Reality has its resident flaws and they are often exquisite. Stories are full of tattered edges and imperfections and that’s what makes them shine. Perfect is boring. I want real. This post? This is real. Bravo.

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