Maybe Writing Imperfectly is Perfect
“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” ― Brené Brown
Recently I’ve been reading a different sort of book where themes of perfection and ideologies for the world squelch all the beautiful grays of possibility. It’s not a theme unique to the writing world, but what is unique, is the craft in the story. Purposeful lines cross out thoughts and fragments left in the writing, a technique I haven’t seen before. I have read stories where grammar reflects the culture and world in the book. Gertrude Stein rocked this strategy in Three Lives.
To be honest, I didn’t think I’d like the style. I thought it would disrupt the flow and image in my mind as I read. But I got over it quickly. It’s a lovely strategy, and though I still find myself skipping over those crossed out lines and rereading them with an exasperated sigh at myself, I always go back. I realize now it’s because I’ve been taught to honor perfection, a little too much.
I remember being a kid myself, thinking if I disagreed with others in general, I might be punished in some way. Maybe shunned by my friends, yelled at by those I loved, and even in high school I’d read an essay I’d written after it had been graded. Glowing red pen inked notes in the margins. Disappointment swelled in my throat. All those marks over MY words. All those red crossed out lines, suggestions for better words I should have used instead.
I’m thinking about imperfections today, because this book really has me thinking about life. Especially since I’m in the realm of Public Relations where most of the job responsibility is making image look perfect. I’m also thinking about my role as a mom and raising my kids to the best of my abilities. Not to mention relationships I care about, and finally, delving deeper, straight into my heart.
My Point Today? I wish I would have learned so much younger how imperfections can be, well, sort of awesome. They make us more human and open to those connections with others. We can’t always get away from certain circumstances, but we have the ability grow and change with knowledge gained through experience.
Lastly, can you guess the title of the book?
It’s pretty awesome…
…It’s called Shatter Me, by author Tahereh Mafi.
Maybe you should give it a try. 🙂
Posted on March 30, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
Very interesting with several salient points. As writers–or as painters, songwriters, musicians or any kind of innovator–we have to find our own style.
And it’s important to cop an attitude, like this: By the time we get published, the fifth grade teacher who marred our work with a red pen will be dead. We can’t let her haunt us.
You already have your style. Go with your strengths.
Thank you Martha. I think your insights are brilliant. You always make me smile ☺