Break Through Perfectionism


Art Nouveau


“Here’s how to break through the perfectionism:

make a LOT of mistakes.

Fall on your butt more often.

Waste more paper, printing out your shitty first drafts,

and maybe send a check to the Sierra Club.

Celebrate messes — these are where the goods are.

Put something on the calendar that you know you’ll be terrible at,

like dance lessons,

or a meditation retreat,

or boot camp.

Find a writing partner, who will help you with your work,

by reading it for you, and telling you the truth about it,

with respect, to help you make it better and better;

for whom you will do the same thing.

Find someone who wants to steal his or her life back, too.

NOW; today.

One wild and crazy thing:

wears shorts out in public if it is hot,

even if your legs are milky white or heavy.

Go to a poetry slam.

Go to open mike,

and read the story you wrote about

the hilariously god-awful family reunion,

with a trusted friend,

even though it could be better,

and would hurt Uncle Ed’s feelings if he read it,

which he isn’t going to.

Change his name and hair color — he won’t even recognize himself.

At work, you begin to fulfill your artistic destiny.

Wow! A reviewer may hate your style,

or newspapers may neglect you,

or 500 people may tell you that you

are bitter, delusional and boring.

Let me ask you this:

in the big juicy Zorba scheme of things,

who fucking cares?”

~ Ann Lamott



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