Saturday, June 26, 2010

Avoiding Perfection

Hi folks,

Lovely day here, hot and sunshiny. I worked hard this week. I'm weaving the deepest magic I know in what I'm writing right now. I keep comforting myself by avoiding perfection. I feel turned inside out with all the complexity of the work: reviewing scenes over and over again, quibbling over line breaks, changing a word and then putting it back for the tenth time -- and then the twentieth, cutting away my "darlings". shoring up the sub-plots, making sure the transitions are better than adequate and reaching the eloquent levels, smything the words with every bit of blarney stone, Texas tall tale juju I can toss on...

I don't know about you, but there is something inside me that wants my work to be perfect. I'm begging for something to rise up in me and shake the foundations of the world. I hunger to write a book that lasts through the ages, relevant for all time.

Uh, I think I've set the bar pretty high, and I'm cool with that. But all this lofty principle has a biting downside, it can really kill my creative flow. How do I avoid creative death by freezing myself in the headlights of the potentiality of doing something unendingly meaningful? Believe me, the pressure is unbearable.

I've found a solution.I've learned to navigate to the middle ground between the tortured artistic diva who must create an earth-shattering work to be satisfied and the ten shekel shirt, snake-oil hawker, TWILIGHT junkie, and talented hack writer corrupted by the glitz of possible $$$.

Believe it or not, I find genius in the middle ground between these two gals. I find fire there, and I'm jogging down that tight-rope to find my best book.

Are you taking a balanced approach to your work? One that gives you the freedom to actually achieve something? Be kind to yourself. Look for your own middle ground this week and see how that gets the creative inferno going. Seize the day.

This week I'm posting the cover of my newest book 'cause I think it is nifty. It's called THE TRUTH ABOUT UNICORNS written by me and illustrated by Necdet Yilmaz. Artist friends, do yourself a favor and check out Necdet's website, very cool-O. The book should be out in a few weeks.





This bridge will only take you halfway there, to those mysterious lands you long to see. Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fair, and moonlit woods where unicorns run free. So come and walk awhile with me and share the twisting trails and wonderous worlds Ive known. But this bridge will only take you halfway there. The last few steps you have to take alone. Shel Siverstein

9 comments:

Vijaya said...

Gorgeous cover, Molly. Yup, I like the middle ground too ...

Vijaya said...

I also meant to ask you how you got that beautiful background on the blog? It's so Indian-y ... love the colors.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi, Vijaya. The background was something on the dashboard of Blogger. They had hundreds of styles to choose from. I clicked through them until I found one that connected with me. I love the colors and the swirls. You might try sprucing up the blog.

Yay for middle ground and all things Indian-y!

Peace, friend.

7:52 AM

Vijaya said...

Thanks ... one more question (but I can't promise it'll be the last): how do you embed those youtube video thingies? I tried using the embed code but it only copies part of the code ...

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Vijaya: I take that embedding code from youtube and then I clip into Word and then I reclip it into Blogger and then it seems to work. This is not the scientific method, but it does work -- sort of "duct" tape computer voodoo. :)

Vijaya said...

Now why didn't I think of that? says Vijaya, giving herself a dope slap. Great idea.

Okay, I played around a bit today -- check out the new look. Me likeee. Thanks so much for your help.

Molly Hall said...

Just wanted to say that I loved this post. I TOTALLY relate to the yearning for perfection and creating an earth-shattering contribution to literature. But it freezes me. And I don't create anything. So, thanks for the reminder to find my own middle ground. I loved how you said you found comfort in not being perfect. That's so great! Thanks!

MollyMom103 said...

Thanks for stopping by Molly! I'm glad you found some help here. Writing a novel is a incredible journey, feel every step, that's something I'm always working on, being wholly present as I create. Hope that makes sense.

holly cupala said...

The unicorn book is so gorgeous, Molly! Very exciting to see. And I can't wait to read the deepest magic you can weave.