Advice, Doubt, Fiction, Goals, Musings, Writing

The #1 Killer of Creativity

For me, perfectionism is the #1 killer of creativity. Nothing I do ever meets my standards. Sometimes I lie and pretend I’m satisfied with the results. Sometimes I remember not to point out every fault and just smile and say thank you when I receive praise, but even when I do, I’m thinking of those faults.

Knowing that my creative endeavor will fall short saps my excitement, drains my energy, murders my enthusiasm almost before I begin. How could it not? Where does this standard come from? Nothing is perfect. Everyone knows that. So, why do I expect the impossible of myself?

Perfectionism is a denial of self. If I can’t accept that where I am is a good place, I can’t ever move forward. I won’t ever improve because eventually I will stop trying.

Perfectionism is selfishness. I can’t fully appreciate anyone else’s work either because I’ve set myself up as judge. I see its flaws and temper my praise.

Perfectionism is arrogance. Who qualified me to set this impossible standard? If nothing is perfect, who am I to think I can achieve what others can’t?

Perfectionism is death.

Let it go and create.


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Dream, Fiction, Imagination, Inspiration, Musings, Novel, Power, Short story, Words, Writing

Dreams, daydreams, and nightmares

We write fiction because we are dreamers. Whether we dream by day or night, whether our dreams are sweet or nightmarish, our stories and novels come from that place where real and imagined combine.

Rêverie (Daydream) – Paul-César Helleu, 1901

At the mere mention of that place, some of us may drift off to ponder the nature of reality. Before long, we’re crafting a tale of some fantasy “I wish” or historical “what if” or futuristic “it could” or contemporary “it does.”

What power we writers hold. We create. From a lock of hair, a tilt of head, a room, a city street, a desire, a fear, a thousand other details, we fashion a character, a locale, a situation. We write a thousand words, a hundred thousand. “It’s alive!”

Some of us write brilliantly. Most of us less so. But we are writers all. We record what we dream because we have that ability. Because we want to. Because we have to.

We give life to our dreams out of despair, joy, hope, fiendishness, playfulness, cleverness, daring. What else can we do?

We are dreamers.

We write.


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Fiction, Novel, Words, Writing

If wishes were novels …

On her blog, Cynthia Newberry Martin recently spoke of wishful thinking and my comment to her was this:

Wishes are hopes, and hope is the carrot on the stick that keeps us moving forward in life. Hope is what keeps us alive. So my answer to the question: what would we do without wishful thinking? is that–emotionally, spiritually or physically–we would die.

Wishful thinking is the impetus of creativity. There are numerous ways to create, including: in6keyboard a studio, workshop, kitchen, garden … and with a keyboard. For what other reason do we write fiction than to give life to our wishful thinking?

Love is perfect, crimes are solved, new worlds emerge, the meek triumph, fears are faced and survived, the human condition revealed and explored, these are our hopes, our dreams, our wishes composed of words.

We ask, “What if?” and the story begins. Life goes on.