Personal Journey

P is for Perfectiosis

PPerfectiosis. A disease that afflicts writers. Symptoms include but are not limited to the following: generalized anxiety, sweats, permanent worry lines on the forehead, permanent duck lips, muscle aches and pains, blurred vision, hair loss (self-inflicted), and ultimately death by defenestration, an option more appealing than hitting publish after spending an eternity on a piece of writing that no longer recognizes itself but blunders along like Frankenstein’s monster. As you read it you want yell curses and runfrankenstein from it just as Victor Frankenstein did, but the pragmatist in you regrets the hours of life you can’t capture back, and really, you’re hoping it’s not all that bad. Surely someone will love it; like it’s one of those ugly dogs so off-the-charts ugly that it’s (sort of) cute. Please think this essay is ugly-dog cute, you think. That’s what a writer suffering from perfectiosis clings to on revision #994.

A painter can hang his pictures, but a writer can only hang himself. – Edward Dalberg

Eddie and I would be best buds if he wasn’t a hundred years dead. Eddie also said writing is humiliation. He didn’t even specify that it had to be bad writing. Or for that matter, who gets humiliated. In my post about Luke I confessed that Luke hates when I blog about him, so it could very well shake down that he’s the one humiliated by some really awesome writing.

Perfectiosis and Eddie’s comment on art and suicide are what conspires to keep a writer’s work safely in the file, never published. As of today I have a short story. Haha!… short…. that I’ve pored over for at least a full work week and still don’t love enough to zap it with lightning and let it loose upon the world. My perfectiosis won’t allow it.

What’s the cure for perfectiosis? Why, publishing a post a day based on the letters of the alphabet. If you do that, one of two things will happen: 1. You’ll publish little scarred and warty monsters; or 2. You’ll go completely insane and get a week’s stay at the funny farm where I happen to know they have deli trays and gourmet cookies. (How do I know that? You’ll have to read my upcoming Q post/warty monster to find out.) Publishing scarred and warty monsters and noting that life goes on, that people still love you and the sun still sends down its warming rays… will cure the perfectiosis.

I have half a mind to publish a post with flamboyant grammar mistakes and misplaced modifiers just to prove my point…

8 thoughts on “P is for Perfectiosis”

  1. The TV series “Jane the Virgin” has very funny comments about this in this new season as Jane struggles to become a writer and please her writing prof. Shows that have “real” writers (who know the problems, as do you) always make me smile.

  2. Dear Teacher, please excuse me from writing today. I have perfectiosis. Sincerely, Scared. Love this!! I’m finding it harder to write after a good post because I’m afraid I won’t be able to perform at that level again. Excellent post.

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