Sunday, September 29, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect - er Good

Practice Makes Perfect  Good

I once knew a musician who despised even the hint that he should be more commercial.  He claimed to be an artist and his music was direct from his soul and for himself, not to feed a commercial audience.

What I told him applies to writing as well:

You need to be true to your inner voice, but even if you write the most epic depiction of a tree falling in the woods, describing every splinter of wood and every swirl of dust and air, and nobody reads it, does it really make a sound?

On the other extreme, an aspiring poet on Facebook told me he wrote and published a new poem every day.  I asked him how many times he retooled the words and he said, "Never.  They come out right the first time."  I never responded.

I don't want to burst any bubbles, but being an artist of any kind doesn't mean you can fart gold bubbles and call them art.  You practice to get better, but you also critique what you have done to get better.

I don't need readers to confirm my suspicions that I am a writer.  I need them to contradict my doubts when I think I'm the wrong kind of writer.  Maybe I just need a little more practice.

I don't require perfection from myself or anybody else, except for my physicians.  I'd like to believe that they can fart gold bubbles and walk on water and never make mistakes.  I hope they don't really need the practice to be good, but I will keep practicing and redoing and hope one day an editor says, "So, why'd you need me?"