What I really want now, more than finding just the right word or insight, is to be in relationship with others. 

One of the things I’ve learned about myself and writing is that if I don’t have an externally imposed deadline, I tend to rework a piece to death.

One reason for this is that I am uncomfortable with other people seeing me in my many imperfections. Of course, this is completely goofy because I make mistakes, in full view, all the time. Like this morning, when I spoke too sternly to my youngest son–forgetting that, as a 10-year-old with boundless energy, taking care of his dishes after breakfast is just not as high on his priority list as it is on mine. Or last night, when I got frustrated with my family because was too tired to have planned a proper dinner.

Another reason is that I think, with time, I can always make things better. I can think something through more clearly. I can find a better turn of phrase. Eliminate unnecessary words. Read everything that has ever been written on the topic and start again.

I now know that letting too much time pass, or engaging in more than a few rewrites, gets me into dangerous territory: a place where I care more about trying to achieve some kind of imaginary perfection than in releasing whatever it is that is trying to come through me. And the result, inevitably, is that I go in circles until I ultimately come to a suffocating and stultifying dead-end.

I also know that, lately, something important has shifted. Because what I really want now, more than finding just the right word or insight, is to be in relationship with others–my readers, in this case. And that requires letting go.

 

 

3 Comments

  1. great points altogether, you just received a brand new reader.
    What could you recommend about your post that you made
    a few days in the past? Any sure?

    Like

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