Progress, not perfection - Jim Slaughter's Blog

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Progress, not perfection

Blog Posted:4/7/2018 12:31:00 PM

When I write, I strive for progress, not perfection. Perfectionism, as I have learned on far too many occasions, can lead to mental paralysis, which in turn, in my case, at least, usually leads to procrastination.

Perfection is, I believe, an illusion. To achieve it would, more than likely, be more than a mortal heart or brain could bear. No one can make a thing perfect. God tried and couldn't. You've probably tried and couldn't. And, even though I keep trying, I can't. But then, I'm pretty sure I don't even want to. Where would/could I go from there?

As difficult as perfection is to attain, I'm almost perfectly certain it is/would be an impossibility to maintain.

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Date: 4/9/2018 3:03:00 AM
Jim, I agree with your argument here. As Vince Lombardi Jr. famously said: “Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.” Nit-picking critics (and we have at least one at the Soup!) would do well to remember this!
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 4/11/2018 1:23:00 PM
Thanks, Robert. I really like Vince Lombardi's advice. As for "nit pickers", I don't long as they know whereof they speak...and as long as I can defend my choice(s). Sometimes it helps to keep me on my toes.
Date: 4/8/2018 9:34:00 AM
Never has been a perfect poem written. And that is because man being an imperfect creature has not that capability. So we strive to write our ""best"", and once we think we have we then see its imperfections and thus continue on in this journey named Poetry. Not one of the legendary poets of old wrote a perfect poem, IMHO. But what they did write oft came close when judging by --"human"- standards ,as such standards can only be as good as is our very, very limited minds.
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 4/8/2018 11:01:00 AM
Very true, Robert. As for me...far from ever being "perfect" or "legendary"...I'm happy if I can attain/maintain a certain consistency of quality in my work. And I like to think that my "standards" are high enough to allow me to do that. But...who am I to judge? Thanks for weighing in.
Date: 4/8/2018 8:07:00 AM
I'm certain you are perfectly right, Jim. Leads to paralysis.
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 4/8/2018 8:18:00 AM
Only the mental kind, let's hope, Line, and only partial, and only temporary. Thanks.
Date: 4/7/2018 6:22:00 PM
Perfection is extremely difficult to define. Lately it seems so many such abstractions have been held up for (or should be) serious examination as to just what value they truly bring to peoplekind (hate that). Who's perfection? We can't achieve God's perfection, that's why Jesus stopped by. A subject for a wider forum and interested participants. Poesy may be helpful in the evolving discussion to be sure. :-)))
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 4/8/2018 8:17:00 AM
A much "wider forum", Wayne. Thanks.
Date: 4/7/2018 4:19:00 PM
As humans we tend to think too much of ourselves. So from a human perspective, I never strive for the impossible; only the difficultly attainable ;)
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FJ Thomas
Date: 4/8/2018 10:20:00 AM
Lol touche'!
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 4/8/2018 8:15:00 AM
Thanks, SotP. One "Don Quixote" was enough.
Date: 4/7/2018 3:55:00 PM
I love what you have to say, Jim, and I agree. I am my own worst critic and probably why I have not been posting lately (It's that "mental paralysis") So as you said, keeping in mind that it's about progress, not perfection, will help. Thank you for this blog.
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 4/8/2018 8:13:00 AM
Thanks, Becca. Being your "own worst critic" might mean you've just learned some "objectivity". Too many writers...especially poets, I'm sorry to say...tend to fall in love with their words. And that's a huge mistake, in my opinion. Even though you may not be posting at present, I hope you are continuing to write. Even a word or a line a day is "progress".

My Past Blog Posts

The Quantum Mechanics of Writing, Part 2
Date Posted: 6/17/2018 8:17:00 AM
The Quantum Mechanics of Writing, Part 1
Date Posted: 6/17/2018 7:42:00 AM
What I'm here to be
Date Posted: 5/25/2018 11:36:00 AM
On writing poetry
Date Posted: 4/28/2018 12:18:00 PM
The wonderfully awful English language...Part 2
Date Posted: 4/20/2018 12:47:00 PM
The wonderfully awful English language and how does anyone ever learn to speak it?
Date Posted: 4/20/2018 12:31:00 PM
What dreams are made of
Date Posted: 4/16/2018 4:14:00 PM
Progress, not perfection
Date Posted: 4/7/2018 12:31:00 PM
In the details
Date Posted: 4/6/2018 12:55:00 PM
A few more words about words
Date Posted: 3/22/2018 3:51:00 PM
I love words
Date Posted: 3/18/2018 8:29:00 AM
The Two-Faced Writer
Date Posted: 3/18/2018 8:24:00 AM
Belated thank you
Date Posted: 3/15/2018 4:02:00 PM

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