I’ve spent a good part of the day raking leaves that have fallen from our Ash tree. As I worked, a breeze continued to out-smart me, reminding me that sometimes our best efforts seem to fall short. And yet, if I hadn’t raked, what would it be like tomorrow?
Every effort we make moves us toward achieving a goal. Sometimes it seems tedious, futile. It would be so much easier to sit back and let the leaves fall where they will. Or wait for someone else to do the work…and be able to claim the success of completion.
This is true in so many aspects of our lives, including writing. How many pages have you written only to toss them out or delete them? How much drivel, purple prose? How many cliche-ridden pieces of garbage? But without putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard where would we be? Every now and again out of that garbage heap, something of brilliance arises. Like those leaves, poor writing can become mulch that serves to nourish next season’s yield.
As I raked, I couldn’t but reflect on the nature of my perfectionism. If I’d tried to make it perfect, I would be crazier than I am. Same with writing, don’t you think? At some point I find it necessary to say, “Okay. That’s enough for now.”
There are still tons of leaves on the Ash. And, between the front and back yard, eight more trees that haven’t even the process of letting go. There are still plenty of words waiting to be played with and committed to sentences, paragraphs, prose or poetry. So, let’s keep on raking, writing.
Have a happy week.
I’ve been looking at the leaves falling in the back yard thinking similar thoughts… I suppose there is meditation in raking even though it never ends until the trees are bare… just as a piece of writing is never complete until it’s out there as a fully formed thought. Thank you for stopping by my blog today, if you hadn’t I wouldn’t have discovered yours 🙂
Thank you, Nicola. Glad to “meet” you!
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Hello Sweetie! It’s good to read this. I think we all have our battles with sloth and perfection issues. After a few years of writing, I learned that IF I went over a chapter, etc….that I could possibly ‘refine’ the writing there, but I had to be very careful with poems. Poetry for me culled the verbose, but writing stories allowed it. LOL!
Our fall is just starting here in the Deep South (Atlanta) and little color is yet in our vision. But! There is hope.
BTW, for some reason I was expecting Fall Futility to be a poem! LOL! But you write with such internal lyricism, that it is easy to read your prose as poetry.
Thank you, dearheart.
Jane (Lady Nyo)
beautifully woven, Victoria, so much enjoyed~
quite insightful and true. of course I rather watch the leaves fall than take them…I wonder what that says about my writing…
that is a cool parallel… perfectionism is getting in the way too often – and we weigh and measure the words instead of just enjoying them
Yeah, I know the feeling. But as I pick up the leaves and put them in a container, I say to myself, “I won’t be picking up that leaf again.” There seems to be some comfort in that. I know there will be more leaves, and I find an odd comfort in that as well. 😐
Perfectionism is insanity, for sure! Thanks for this post…I find it encouraging, Victoria.
A good philosophy for you. I prefer to let the wind do the work – leaves fall to give the tree a rest and enrich the soil beneath (eventually). Besides, it’s such fun walking through the rustling and kicking up drifts of leaves!
smiles…nice and inspiring…and even the words that we delete have value you know…it is all part of the game…and we wade through some to find others…we only stop when we choose to put down the rake…the pen…