Friday, July 29, 2011


By now you have probably guessed that I love Anne Lamott. Actually, I've never read any of her fiction, but I have reread her non-fiction works multiple times. In Bird by Bird (her book about writing), she writes, "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor." Think about that for a second. Sure, we strive to make our writing (and our lives, for that matter) better, but when is enough enough. We can revise as many times as we want to, but our writing could always improve. I'd be willing to bet even Shakespeare could have thought of a few things he'd like to change. We can stop perfectionism in its tracks, however, with our own minds. We don't have to live up to anyone's expectations, even our own, if they are unrealistic. I have chosen not to write alot of things simply because I was afraid it wouldn't be good enough. That definitely is the voice of the oppressor. Now, I have decided to fight back and just write. Does anyone have ideas on how to fight back from the monster of perfectionism.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't the issue about excess? Striving to improve can be aspirational, but allowing any excess to seize control creates diminishing returns. I believe one has to find balance in life or in writing. To your point, the Nike commercial on exercise urges us to "just do it."
    Faithful Reader.