Perfectionism

A couple days ago, Jane Porter posted at Yankee Romance Reviews about perfectionism

Perfectionism is a topic near and dear to my heart.  By that, I mean it beats at the center of my chest daily.  Oh, I can let some things slide (scrubbing the toilets, for example) no problem, but when it comes to my writing…

Is wanting perfection so wrong?

Sure, perfection is impossible to attain, and in the quest, it’ll make you crazy.  It’ll destroy your love of writing, maybe your life.  

Perfection probably isn’t even desirable.  I often repeat to myself the apocryphal story of Michelangelo who had been working on the statue of a saint with hands folded in prayer.  An assistant praised the hands, saying they were exquisite, the most life-like he’d ever seen.  Perfect.  The master studied the hands.  Nodded.  Took up his chisel and hammer.  And bashed the hands into dust.  To the horrified assistant, he said, “It wasn’t about the hands.”

And still I persist in my perfectionism.

I love Jane’s cover because there are no chocolate crumbs on the white frosting.  I can’t cut a cake without getting crumbs in my hair much less keeping them off the frosting.  This is the depth of my hopeless perfectionism.  (Although one might suspect a touch of OCD and/or Asperger’s and/or plain old clumsiness.)  And still I lick clean the knife between each careful cut in the attempt to eliminate the crumbs.

But it turns out, a cake is made of crumbs.  And it wasn’t supposed to be about the frosting anyway.  A cake is about the celebration and the sharing, the flavor and the fun.

So maybe I will try going forth without my perfectionism.  (Isn’t that what a blog is for?)  I will break my crayons with abandon,  and eat my cake with both hands (as long as Michelangelo isn’t around).  And it’ll be fine.  And fun.

Thanks, Jane.

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