I’m reading Atwood right now (Alias Grace) and realized one of two things (or, perhaps, a combination of the two, which is more likely):
- I presently write like an illiterate heathen.
- I’ve gotten worse at writing since college.
I was never an award-worthy writer by any stretch of the mind but I thought I was better at the written conveyance of my imagination before.
Or I was just high and riding on fake flights of illusory brilliance.
Regardless, reading Atwood makes me realize how poorly I write. Or, from a positive perspective, how much room I have to grow.
Obviously my current capabilities are a result of minimal input. I don’t practice. I don’t write much outside of the banal documentation of my day-to-day life. And it’s banal only in that I lack creativity in capturing it.
There is so much beauty in the daily repetition of life that I either miss because I’m not paying enough attention or fail to encapsulate properly within the grey covers of these notebooks.
For example – I was talking with a friend the other night about the beauty there is in shades of grey (as opposed to black-and-white thinking) but neglected to connect that to the fact that I document my life in grey notebooks until this moment.
I continue to expect perfection from myself in things I lack extensive experience in, like perfection is an achievable goal to begin with. Perfection doesn’t exist; only practice. But I don’t even practice.
Perfection is a product of black-and-with thinking.
Practice is living in the grey. Even Atwood wasn’t perfect. I’m sure she tore her books apart post-publication and found numerous areas for improvement. But that’s exactly how she improved—practice.
Without practice I’ll never better myself. In writing, in my program, in any one of my hobbies abandoned in my quest for a nonexistent perfection.
Living in grey is beautiful when I open my eyes to shades other than black or white. And when I’m gentle with myself and my constant state of practice.
From the Carry is a small series I’m starting as a practice in imperfection. Most of the time I avoid posting on my blog because I want things to be perfect— From the Carry is the antithesis to that idea. By transcribing what I wrote directly from my notebook, no edits or alterations, it reminds me that things will never be perfect and that is okay.