Are you frustrated? Do you struggle to find the perfect words that consummately evoke the depth of your passion or flawlessly paint the fullness of your vision? Are you frustrated because the words you have chosen seem inadequate, their ordering unsatisfactory?
You’re not alone. Many writers would echo your frustration.
It’s a futile frustration, for language is an approximation. It’s a powerful but often inadequate device for translating experience and emotion into a form others can share.
As I write these words, the sun is sliding through a marbled Hawaii sky toward the Pacific, its light skipping across wind-rippled waters.
If I have been successful in my description, you will see some version of an ocean sunset. Some version, but not mine. It may approach mine. It may approximate mine. Yet my words, as expertly as I may have deployed them, cannot create a Kodak moment. (Even Kodak can’t create a perfect Kodak moment.) My words are more likely to create an Impressionist moment.
That isn’t a bad thing. It gives readers space to have their own experience, to paint their own pictures from the words you have freed from your pen.
Just as you cannot control the words that flow from you, you cannot control your reader’s experience of those words. Nor would you want to. How often have you been disappointed by a film portrayal of your favorite literary character because your inner director cast the role more astutely than the movie director did?
Empower your readers to have their own experience and recognize that all you can do is translate your experience as heartfully as you’re able into little squiggles on a page. Begin by recognizing that most of the time you’re only going to come close. Continue by knowing that it remains within your power to have your words incite revolution, topple dynasties and overthrow “reality.” That’s perfect enough for me. How about you?
Here’s A Suggestion...
What are you waiting for? Pick up your pen. Describe what you see, what you feel, what you yearn for, what you love. Don’t try to be perfect. Don’t try at all. Just allow. And know that from that place of surrender, you are creating perfection.
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