Waiting for Perfection

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I haven’t been writing a lot lately. Largely because of time—I’ll put 75% of the blame there—but also because the topics swirl around in my head and I wait for them to position themselves just so before committing to putting words to my thoughts. I only want to write if it’s meaningful. I only want to write if I get it right.

atwood-on-writing-perfection

There’s no such thing as perfection. I know that. And there’s especially no such thing as perfection in writing. Words are living, breathing things and a piece of writing is never truly done. It’s just finished, and the writer has to release those words to the world and let them continue to live on through readers. As you peruse the words and unravel their meaning, the words breathe. As you comment, continue to ponder, or share, the words’ breath, their very being, carries on.

Often, when I really have something to say, I will think and write and revise and think some more. I will edit and re-write and let the words lead me to making sense of my world. And when I finally let them go, I wait for the answer to one question: Did I get it right?

But there is no right. There is only right now. Whatever I write, whether I publish it or not, is my reality in the moment. It’s part of how my world evolves. The words I use and the paragraphs that form don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to be right by anyone’s judgment. Not even by mine. Those words are merely part of the picture.

I know this, and something someone shared recently (that originally inspired this post but that I can no longer find) has reminded me of it once again.

I don’t have to finish writing. I just have to start.


 

Comments

  1. Often I end up pushing publish right away because the more I ponder, the more I change, the more I second guess, the more I wonder if I should even write it at all. So, instead, I hit publish and the chips fall where they may. Regardless….at least we write and put it out there.

  2. This is what I needed to hear. Thank you!

  3. it’s so true. We really just have to start writing, or typing, and let it all come together.

  4. Yep, just write. And let me say, I love it when you do.

    xx

  5. I can never go back to rewrite something I wrote before, because whatever I wrote there and then, it’s exactly how I meant it to be. Even if it’s not perfect.

    Just starting is a good place.

  6. I do this all. the. time. I’m trying to learn how to silence my inner critic, but it’s SO HARD. Thank you for writing what I’ve been thinking for the last, oh, six months or so. xoxo

  7. That is a fantastic quote, and so fitting. And yet, it’s hard to implement. I know it’s better to simply write and see what happens, but wanting the result to be spectacular, and not knowing if it will be? Hard.

  8. That’s right, sweetheart! Don’t ever stop writing, if it feeds your soul. Just do it. xo

  9. Oh, I loved this, Robin! That last line… so true. I find that writing at certain times influences how I write. For instance, in the morning, I’m more melancholy, quiet, thoughtful. In the afternoon I am lighter and sillier. Sometimes I struggle with this, but you’re so right – it’s my reality at the moment.

  10. Definitely agree 100% with you…what matters is to keep writing, and that’s what I try to keep in mind as well for myself!

  11. Sometimes I know I want to write but can’t find the words. Usually if I force myself to get a few sentences out, even if they are horrible sentences that I hate after a few bad ones some good ones come along and I get back into it. It’s the starting that is hard.