Friday, July 1, 2011

I Don't Brake for Unicorns

Credit: People Mag

While I try to keep this fact hidden during job interviews, I'm not a perfectionist. In fact, I hate when people say they are (apologies if you are a perfectionist.) It's because I don't believe in perfection that I have a bone to pick with it. I believe in good, great, transcendental, adequate and wicked, among other adjectives, but not 'perfect'.

Perfect, like unicorns (again, sorry if you believe in unicorns), doesn't exist. I get the message, really I do, that aspiring to perfection, even knowing it's unattainable, is how you can get to the best you/your project can be.

But I think this is so misleading as to be criminal and, in my case, paralyzing. Also, I could see myself using the lack of perfection as an excuse not to submit just yet...wait one more day/week/lustrum.

When do you send in your manuscript if someone has requested it? When it's perfect.

Well, don't hold your breath, because mine's never getting to P-Land.

What I aspire to is completeness, trickier than waiting for unicorns, but infinitely more attainable. I believe that everything has a tipping point, a point where you stop having to create it because the darn thing is alive. Could you gild the lilly after it's complete? Absolutely. You can spend forever waiting for that sound of one hand clapping too, if you want.

While I haven't achieved this goal yet in writing, I have achieved it in other areas, so I have an idea what it feels like: A giddy, teenage feeling followed by serenity.

What do you think, does perfection exist? Do you seek it?


  1. I'm with you--perfection isn't there. There are great books, but not one book that I've read is perfect.

  2. I think that perfection exists, but that we humans aren't able to achieve it.

    That said, I am a perfectionist but I don't look on it as a good quality. Perfectionism is like mild OCD, in my opinion, and something you have to fight against to move forward.

  3. I'm guilty here. I want my WIP as perfect as possible. I need to remember that no matter how hard I try, someone is going to want something changed.

    Wow. COOL background music as I type this. LOVE it.

  4. @ bryce - thanks for the positive feedback on the music. music is v. important to me when I write and I use playlists - but I know not everyone feels this way!


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