“Because for some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave…They are full of all the things that you don’t get in real life– wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. And quality attention: we may notice amazing details during the course of a day but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention.”
Anne Lamott in her book, Bird by Bird.
“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.”
This is what I strive for these days, “a shitty first draft” as my fingers haltingly tromp ineffective words into the keyboard.
I tell you that I “tromp” rather than gallop around the keyboard because as I work toward “a shitty first draft” I’m also fending off the voices of failure yelling at me about, “lack of consistency” in producing said mediocre work.
Today, I’m oppressed by the thought that my goal of publishing one blog a day (into infinity) was disrupted yesterday. I have many excuses for this. And now, I have many mean voices chastising me for my lack of discipline.
Says an incredulous voice, “You couldn’t publish something for a measly THREE DAYS IN A ROW?!”
And then with disgust, “And you call yourself a writer!”
Perfectionism cripples my desire to go on, paralyzes my ability to craft beautiful sentences and generally cramps my writing style in every, single, way.
Anne Lamott, you’re my writing soul mate.