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.