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The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will
give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows
another. . . and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.
I once wanted to be a ballerina.
Ballerinas are world renowned for their superior grace and beauty, their lines perfectly symmetrical to the ballerina standing on either side of them. Ballerinas are perfection in the dancing world. As children they are weeding through and only the best are left in the class. The ones that will grow to tall, their lines aren't proportionate or won't become that way, weak legs or ankles, all history. Perfection comes with a price. A price that you have to decide if it's worth it or not to take that risk and go all in.
Writing is the same way.
Now, once I learned that I would never make it in the dancing world, (my ankles are weak and have been broken several times plus the lack of money never made it a possible dream for me), I turned to poetry. Poetry is a different kind of perfection. One that you seek within yourself and never find. Poetry is about heart and soul, the darkness you have trying to escape, the feeling of the pen between your fingers, the smell of the breeze as it flutters past you... All these things embody poetry at it's finest. Poetry is about feeling. Fiction is about gut instincts and timing and plots... very intricate and tricky. There is no difference in the amount of perfection or the quality, but all writing is different.
Writing is as different as the person who wrote the piece. Whether it be a paragraph or a hundred thousand word book, our personality shines within our words. We eat, breathe and sleep words, plots, timing, characters and their characterizations. You cry over lost notes, bleed over plots, sweat the small stuff. Even the smallest of imperfections in your plot can ruin a whole book, years of work down the drain. Much like a ballerina. Ballerinas practice their whole lives for one moment of glory and only one misstep can take that away from them. We practice and practice and practice for one moment as well. That moment we walk out of the darkness with a book in hand, gingerly carrying it, hoping not to crush our dreams in one single swoop. It only takes one thread of doubt in an authors mind to crush everything they've spent their lives doing. One judgment or opinion to put that seed of doubt there. And then you've lost it.
Writing is an art form. Many people will disagree with this, but writing in any form is an art. It's an abstract vision in your mind that once you find the will, you can put it down for all to see. It's beautiful in its individuality, unique in its presence, daunting in its power. A whole book, something that started so small in your mind, becomes a massive undertaking. It consumes you with the fire of creating, wills you to do better, try harder, push a little longer... Until you finally win the battle and then you find that you still aren't satisfied. Writers are notorious pickers. We pick and pick and pick, until there is nothing left to pick at. Perfection is never achieved, no matter how good the reviews or how great you thought it was the night before. We all go through this on some level. Writers never see perfection. It could be staring us in the face but we're blind, not by choice, but by instinct. You're told as a writer that you can never be perfect. Never give up, always tweak and fix and prune until it's close to perfection and then try again.
Perfection is different in everyone eyes. Ideas born of visions and thoughts should be perfection it's purest form, but it's not so. Has there ever been a time when you thought something was so beautiful that it was perfection in your eyes?
For me, it's that first line of prose, the beauty of dusk in the countryside, the look in a child's eyes when they look up to you, the way a ballerina's footwork and lines contrast the backdrop, contra-posing or mimicking... art is beautiful in any form. Take a look around you, enjoy yourself, the things around you more often. Trust in your abilities and those around you. Live and breath without perfection constantly on your minds. Perfection should be a freedom, not a weight holding you down.
What are you passionate about? What was the first thing you ever wanted to be perfect at?
Influence this week (And I'm about to blow some minds)
Make You Feel My Love- Adele - 19
Finally- Fergie- The Dutchess (That's right, I said it.)
And last but not least (if I'm going to ruin my rep, I might as well go all out)
All Around Me (Acoustic Version)- Flyleaf - All Around Me EP