Welcome to the Creative Buzz Hop number 2!! Here there is a prompt given each Wednesday night and you have a week to respond to it. Please, oh please, join in for some fun! There are some simple steps to this game actually. Find the topic (which I will give you in a second), write a blog, post said blog (feel free to use the picture at the left), and link up your blog with the rest of them here (it’s at the right hand side of the screen). This week we’re encouraging participate through tagging peoples. I’ll be tagging a few, probably Sarah Hart, Sirena Robinson, and Brewed Bohemian.
Moving on…this weeks topic is perfectionism. There are three choices of what to write about, but it is inspired by Anne Lamott. Now, I had the pleasure of meeting Anne this past spring at a lecture and book signing she gave here in Texas. She is an amazing woman, and her writing has helped a lot of people. I’ve heard a lot of people in the writing world say that reading “Bird by Bird” has helped them so much in their own personal writing and in motivation. I read it for class, so I think the required part killed out the helpful part. Here’s the topics:
(a) Do you always need to be perfect?
(b) Do you recall anyone who has been demanding of perfection?
(c) How has perfection affected you?
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” – Anne Lamott
So there you go! Join in and write a post, or just join in by reading everyone’s posts. Either way will be greatly appreciated.
The grasp of perfectionism has never gripped me very tightly, but I have been accused of it. I’ve always grown up with the understanding that perfection or a perfect creation is impossible to make or achieve. I have never striven or desired anything that I create to be perfect, whether it be a novel, an art and craft, or a paper for class. It won’t be perfect. The only thing that I can hope and work toward is making it the best that I can make it–there will always be flaws.
Because of this understanding, I do set the proverbial bar high and I always aim to reach it. Most of the time I do reach it, and then I move it higher to do even better the next time. I have no idea how or why my mind and goals work this way, but it has always happened, ever since I was little. It also always takes my teachers and mentors a while to figure it out. I will push and push and push myself to do better each time, sometimes even to the detriment of myself, which is probably why some people think I strive for perfection. But that is not the aim or the goal that I’m working toward; I simply just want to do better than before.
Sure I’ll look at my feet on occasion, as Anne Lamott says; I’ll look at them and figure out the direction that I want to get going, but most of the time, I’m looking on my second pass, because my first pass by, I’m looking up at the sky and straight out ahead of me. This actually reminds me a lot of something I wrote into one of my novels. There is a scene where Addy is remembering something her mother said–to always walk with her head held up high and not looking at her toes. It shows confidence and character in the individual who does it, rather than fear and trepidation that staring at one’s feet does. Addy remembers her mom laughing at her when she says it’s because she doesn’t want to fall.
As Thomas Wayne in “Batman Begins” says… “Why do we fall down, Bruce? To get back up.”
There can be no raising of the bar or improving of one’s self without the lack of hitting perfectionism, which is already unattainable, and trying to learn from the mistakes and the trials that we went through. This is what being human is all about. We have a desire to learn and to better ourselves, to grow and become something else that when we strive for perfection becomes quickly but to the back burner and left to boil away until nothing is there.
I don’t want nothing to be there; I want everything to be ahead, and just far enough that I can reach for it, letting my fingers brush over it so that I can learn and grasp the feel, so I can know what it is that I’m getting and what it is that I want. It’s the reward for doing better, a fuller touch to teach me how much closer to the final product and the betterment of me that I can do. What I’m touching is the desire to improve and learn, the desire to grow.