A letter to my perfectionist friend: Follow your calling
Dear friend who says she has not started her book because she is a perfectionist:
Yesterday when we talked, you said you had an idea for a book but hadn’t started it yet. You cited being a “perfectionist” as the reason you’ve been blocked.
Give yourself a break. Writing by its nature is imperfect. Our pages are works in progress. Writing is a messy business. Words and ideas rarely flow onto the page the way we picture them in our minds. Sentences may feel awkward. Just when we think we know where our story is going, it stalls.
Beyond certain principles of storycraft, writing, like many other art forms, is subjective. No one writes a “perfect” manuscript on the first try. That’s why they’re called “drafts.”
Blank pages are clean and crisp – and boring.
You will find fulfillment in following your heart, not by being perfect. Trust the process. Trust yourself. I know you have a story inside you and characters clamoring to speak. Give them a voice.
Take a step of faith, just write. Then revise and refine your sentences. In doing so, you will have experienced the mysterious and magical act of creation. And in that moment, you will see perfection itself.
If I do not fulfill
my heart’s vocation,
–St. Thomas Aquinas