Perfectionism: A Great Muse-Strangler

I currently have a half-written blog post about perfectionism and its destructive effect on creativity. For some reason, every time I get back to it, I’m interrupted…hmmm…there’s that stressful life making things difficult again…

Until I can finish up what I have to say about the evils of perfectionism, I’m going to share a few words of wisdom on the topic from other creative people:

“A lot of disappointed people have been left standing on the street corner waiting for the bus marked Perfection.” —Donald Kennedy path on peat moor

“Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough – that we should try again.”
—Julia Cameron

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
—Anna Quindlen

“The maxim ‘Nothing but perfection’ may be spelled ‘Paralysis’.”
—Winston Churchill

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
—Salvador Dali

“An artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.”
—Eugene Delacroix

“Perfectionism is the enemy of creation…” —John Updike

Advertisements

8 Responses to “Perfectionism: A Great Muse-Strangler”


  1. 1 Cathryn September 22, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for these quotes, exactly what I needed today. It’s amazing to read these comments from the likes of Dali and Updike!

    • 2 stranglingmymuse September 22, 2009 at 10:09 am

      I’m glad they resonate with you as much as they do with me, Cathryn! I think a lot of writers struggle with perfectionism and its debilitating effect on our creativity.
      –Sandy

  2. 3 K a b l o o e y September 22, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I’m always afraid of people reading and thinking it’s just lame, or self-indulgent, trite, mediocre. Not the blog stuff — that’s self-indulgent and rushed and imperfect by nature (mine, not yours). But the screenwriting; I was constantly judging myself and getting stuck.

    • 4 stranglingmymuse September 22, 2009 at 8:35 pm

      Believe me, I can relate. I think the Julia Cameron quote above really speaks to how we’re hurting ourselves and our work with that kind of thinking.

      I find blogging and its necessary quick pace to be an interesting exercise in letting go of perfection. I try to stop myself from going back and making small changes in past posts, but I admit to having done it on occasion. Believing things must be perfect means nothing’s really ever completed.

      –Sandy

  3. 5 sharni montgomery September 26, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Hello fantastic. These quotes were like the teacher appearing cos this student was ready.
    Have been crazily aiming for too much perfection. This was reality check. thanks

    • 6 stranglingmymuse September 27, 2009 at 12:00 am

      Great — I’m glad the quotes were helpful, Sharni. Read my next post to see how badly I need the reality check myself.
      –Sandy

  4. 7 Shari March 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Hi there. Just discovered this post today. I blogged about perfectionism & creativity earlier today — wish I’d read these quotes first, lol! Good ones, for sure. Thanks for sharing them. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Download a Free E-Book! Click on the Cover Below for your Creative Bursts Workbook

And get fun 15-minute creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week

About Sandy Ackers

Sandy

Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

To learn more about Sandy, click here: About Sandy

Connect With Me On Facebook:

Meet My Muse

Click here to read the post discussing my relationship with my somewhat pesky male muse.

Inspiration in your inbox:

Blog Archive

Total Hits:

wordpress analytics
wordpress analytics

Share This Blog

Bookmark and Share
Add to Technorati Favorites
Writing Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Copyright © 2009-2016 Sandy Ackers. All rights reserved, with the following exceptions:

Writers retain all rights to any comments, stories or other original work posted on this blog in the comments sections or the Readers' Sandbox.

Many of the photos on this blog are in the public domain. If you'd like to reproduce a photo, contact Sandy Ackers at the email address listed in the ABOUT section of this blog for information on whether the image is under copyright.

Reproducing, copying or distributing the writing on this blog without the express permission of the author is strictly forbidden.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

%d bloggers like this: