Love and Perfectionism
There’s a difference between writing out of pure love and devotion and writing out of a desire for perfectionism. Editing your work out of pure love for the craft leads to beautiful paintings and beautiful music. But on the other hand, when you’re editing to achieve perfection, you’ve lost the art itself. You’re beating yourself up over one bad sentence while ignoring the hundred good ones that surround it. They are there, but you choose not to acknowledge them. All you see is the one bad sentence, and it consumes you until you fix it.
Perfectionism ruins both the art and the artist. No one wins. And if–if–the artist is ever satisfied with the work, and releases it from the warmth of his own hands into the cold world, he may still be unhappy with it. This is the reality of perfectionism: even if everyone else loves your work, there’s still one person in the world that sees all the imperfections, all the faults, all the sentences that could be better “if only I had an hour more to work on it.”
“Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves. The part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough–that we should try again.” – The Artist’s Way
May you strive for excellence, not perfection, in your art.