in a recent New Yorker podcast, Richard Ford states that novelists cannot be perfectionistic, that it doesn’t fit the novelistic form; however, this trait fits the short story form. this really got me thinking, took me on tangents into the writing/personal.
last year, i tried to write a novel and it fucking freaked me out. i couldn’t let go. i blamed it on critique of the name of my main character (his name is Mike Blank) and shelved the project. reading Richard Ford’s comment about perfectionism jangled and, when i tweeted about it, struck a chord with others. here are some tweets:
- maybe he’s talking about messy business of finishing a novel–wherein perfection is smashed to bits & swept under rug–@BrownleeMaureen
- Disagree. You can still be a perfectionist without ever getting to perfection. IMHO–@AmandaLeduc
- Either way I’m screwed–@amylaurajones
there’s something in that quote that raises the ire of a buncha writer folks, including me.
what’s this about? it’s about never being good enough. it’s about the shame of being an individual, about wearing your skirts too short and your heels too high. driving too fast down main street in a small town, in the hopes of getting a ticket. it’s about liking sex, loud music, and words. especially words. it’s about wormholes you fall down and don’t want to climb out of. it’s about trying to figure out how to fucking balance it all.
we’re all first novels. flawed and beautiful.
how goes your relationship with your mother?