Wednesday, February 3, 2016


What if you aren't perfect?  What if you don't do everything the exact same way some self-appointed expert tells you to?  What if they castigate and vilify you because of this?

What if the experts contradict themselves?

What if the experts are trying to convince you to follow their individual perfect paths by beating you up?

Why do any of them think that's effective?  Why do any of them think that perfection incorporates meanness?

It doesn't.  Nobody's perfect.  We're improving.  We each must improve at our own paces and in our own ways.

Maybe YOUR improvement, this week, is trying out soy milk, walking around the block, doing Meatless Mondays, taking a stab at doing more of your own chores, reading your draft backwards to catch spelling and typographical errors.

Why is that cause for derision, not congratulations?

I don't know.   This attitude strikes me as very counter-productive.

My suggestion is compassion.  My suggestion to all these so-called experts is to praise any step in a better direction, and forget the torture and punishment because someone didn't grow their own certified organic black beans.

This applies to your own criticism of your own writing, too.  Are you much harder on yourself than you would be on someone else?  Have you let your work rest to read it with a fresh eye?

Don't freak if you find a typo.  Don't panic if you catch inconsistencies.  Don't focus on the bad.

Lend yourself a little compassion.  What you've written is probably better than you think.  Unless you think your unedited masterpiece is utterly the best thing every written in the history of the planet.  Then you'd better have a word with a professional editor.

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