Perfection is the writer’s illusive dream

I’ve always thought of myself as a part-time perfectionist, one of those types who demands more of themselves than is humanly possible, yet stops short of expecting that perfection is anywhere remotely possible. Part-time, as I said.

Writing, however, demands a certain amount of precision. At the same time, the latitudes given a writer to shape sentences and paragraphs are remarkably broad. Thus is the measure of my insecurity: How do I write well, stay within the established lines of what is good and, yes, grammatical, and yet express freely exactly what I want to say.

It sometimes feels like trying to carry water in a colander.

While I love the writing process, it’s hard work. The fun part is the revising and smoothing and tinkering. Were it not for some expectation that a manuscript should eventually be finished, I would probably tinker forever.

The hardest part of writing, I think, is knowing when you’re finished. The reality is that there is always something that can be improved upon. Even though Cairnaerie is in print form now, I still am, in my mind at least, revising. I suppose I shall never completely be finished.


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