Not long ago I read an article that discussed writers’ incessant need for perfection. And the subsequent disappointment we feel when we finally see what ends up on the page. Somehow that pure concept doesn’t translate. Doesn’t get from the special lofty real estate in your head where all things perfect live to this clunky, messy, noisy dusty rock we all live on.
The trip from concept to language is definitely imperfect and probably includes lots of fender benders, side trips and a flat tire or two.
But so is the human experience. Imperfection is the essence of human nature, isn’t it?
And I’m thinking that even if we managed to get that perfection on paper, or in a book or a story or some nifty commentary it might not land anyway.
It might be that perfection is something that can’t be appreciated or even understood in this human universe.
So writers curse and bang on the keyboard and spit out some herky-jerky version of that perfection in hopes that there will be some kind of connection. Because that’s the thing isn’t it? The connection from writer to reader. That says, ‘hey I’ve been in your shoes,’ or ‘I’ve seen that, I’ve felt that, I’ve tasted that – sucks don’t it?’ or “Damn, is this awesome or what?’
I don’t know this for a fact but I think we humans are pretty perceptive and those who love to read are well-versed in reading between the lines. And believe me, there is plenty there.
And when it comes down to it, maybe that’s all writers are meant to do – to keep trying – to keep spitting out that perfection inside us in whatever way we can.
I read somewhere that Michelangelo thought the Sistine Chapel was crap. So do I have a chance of perfection? Doubtful.
So how about it folks, do you try to be perfect? Are you forever seeking the perfect sentence, paragraph, phrase or description? Did you get there? How’d you do it? Is perfection over-rated?