Waiting for Perfection

Thanks to Grammarly for sponsoring this post. Use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because it also checks your grammar, and no one wants to be the person everyone thinks about when they post bad-grammar memes on Facebook.

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.


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.

Writing is a Process

In the back of my mind, for a long time, quietly, a question has lived: Why, for all those years, didn’t you write more?

When I was in Grade 11 I entered one of my short stories in a contest and won a prize. I barely remember the story or what it was about, and I don’t remember the process of writing it. It was very much modeled after a favorite writer of mine; in fact, I’m not sure the voice was really mine at all.

I’ve never had much of a desire to write fiction and I certainly don’t now. I don’t have stories and characters and settings in my head. And, after all, isn’t that what writers do? Weave themselves and their experiences and the things they ponder into stories about other people?

Of course not. Not only that. That’s just one kind of writing.

I know that now, and these days I write a lot. At least in my head, which still counts. Not many of them make it down on paper, but I process my world through words.

rain drops

I spent years not writing because I thought I didn’t have anything to write about. I guess I just had to find my own story. So that’s what I write now. I process things and it helps me and maybe even helps other people a little bit.

And yet at times it feels self-indulgent to write my own story. Self-important. Narcissistic, even. Especially because my story, as I am telling it, isn’t one event. It’s not one bad day or one diagnosis or one revelation.

But then again, no one’s is.

Writers write because they have something to say. And the lesson I’m learning now—for me—is that I can write, and I want to write, and it doesn’t actually matter if anyone reads it.

I will just wait for those times I have something to say, and be grateful for a place to say it.


I’ve written and deleted the introduction to this post several times. I just don’t have any words lately. I can’t even say why, just that for the first time in a long time I am processing things in my head instead of on this screen. I’m doing things and enjoying them and then moving on to the next thing. I’m having some hard days but not feeling the need to share much. I’ve been desperately tired and then better. I’ve thought ahead to all the things I want to do before my maternity leave is over (only two months!) and then sat down to enjoy the now.

It’s a weird place to be in. I haven’t gone this long without writing anything significant since I started blogging. I don’t even have drafts of all the stuff I’ve been thinking about. Just two. And they’re the barest of drafts. A line or two each. Whatever I have to say just doesn’t seem worth saying right now.

So I’ll hang out here for a while. There’s beauty and potential and life in the distance, and I’m eyeing it while soaking up what’s right in front of me.

Just wanted you to know.



How to Pimp Your Blog

A heads up (for bloggers mostly) that I’ve got a post up on the Sverve blog called Pimp My Blog. Come visit!

How to Create a Sharing Community for Your Blog

A To Z: Old School Blogging

Elaine is hosting Old School Blogging again, this time with Jennifer as her co-host. I like doing a fun, about-me type post once in a while, and I’m always good with an alphabet meme, so let’s go!


A: Attached or single?

Attached, and amazed every day that I got so lucky.

husband with baby in Bjorn

B: Best friend?

My husband, I’d say, but very grateful for these girls too.

moms' group

C: Cake or pie?

I don’t generally say no to either, but my husband has perfected pie (crust, filling, the whole deal) so I’ll go with that.

D: Day of choice?

Friday. Right now, anyway. I get the afternoon to write and I like the vibe Fridays have.

E: Essential item?


F: Favourite colour?


G: Gummy bears or worms?

No, thank you. I’m not really a candy eater.

H: Hometown?

Victoria, BC.

I: Favourite indulgence?

A Smarties Blizzard. You Americans that don’t have Smarties are seriously missing out.

J: January or July?

January. I don’t like hot weather, I dig winter stuff, and it has such a feeling of possibility.

K: Kids?

Yes, these two. (There is a second under there. And his hood just fell like that, but his big brother thought it was pretty funny.)

big brother and baby with hood over his face

L: Life isn’t complete without?

Walks in the sunshine, a glimpse of the mountains, time by the ocean, an opportunity to learn something new, family time, chocolate.

M: Marriage date?

August 28, 2004.

N: Number of brothers and sisters?

One brother, two sisters. One half-brother, one half-sister.

O: Oranges or apples?


P: Phobias?

Spiders, claustrophobia, the dark. Yes, I’m afraid of the dark. Shut up.

Q: Quotes?

When I was in high school I had a journal that I collected quotes in. At the time, my goal was to fill it up, which seemed like a lofty goal at the time. I eventually stopped adding quotes to it, though I love them still. But one quote has been my favourite for a long time, and I think it can be applied to most things in life:


R: Reasons to smile?

Ethan’s baby laugh, Connor’s big heart, a really good book, a fantastic run, the perfect cup of tea, a decadent dessert, a really good day.

S: Season of choice?

Winter. I’m Canadian, eh?

T: Tag five people.

I hate tagging people.

U: Unknown fact about me?

Gosh, is there anything? What haven’t I told you? Okay, here’s a story from today:

I have an anaphylactic reaction to shellfish. Or at least I used to. When I was 21 I quite suddenly became allergic after eating it all my life. With the first incident, I got really sick and thought it was food poisoning. Then about a week later I ate it again and ended up in the hospital, where they told me I really ought not to eat shellfish anymore if I wanted to see my 22nd birthday. I carried an EpiPen for years, but I never had to use it because, for the most part, shellfish is an easy thing to avoid. And the darn things cost about $70 a pop, so I got a little tired of paying for something that I never used and that expired pretty fast. My husband was not a fan of this approach, but I’m stubborn.

After today, though, he wins. We were at a farmer’s market just out of town (i.e. fairly far from the hospital) and I ate some samples of curry from a vendor that sells kits. It wasn’t until my sister and I had both tried all three kinds that she pointed out the little sign that said, “Contains shrimp paste.”

Commence panic!

I’m fine, though, and it seems that perhaps I have outgrown that particular allergy (which I have long suspected). But I will still get an EpiPen until I can get some testing done just to put my mind at ease (and because after today if I don’t my husband will probably divorce me).

So a generally unknown fact about me? I should carry an EpiPen but I don’t because I’m stupid. (But, man, that curry was good.)

V: Vegetable?

English peas.

W: Worst habit?

Nail biting.

X: X-ray or ultrasound?

Ultrasounds. I had so many ultrasounds with both pregnancies that I’m a pro.

Y: Your favourite food?

Right now it’s this salad.

Z: Zodiac sign?

Sagittarius. Fire sign, baby!

Those are my answers. What about yours?