If you are an artist, chances are you are a perfectionnist, an obsessed soul always in search of gold.
Well, I am.
So let’s celebrate together a simple truth : we’ll never get a hundred per cent satisfied. Nothing we’ll ever write will meet all of our expectations. Some might, a few lines and pages may pass the cut, and even bear the test of time. But so few indeed. So let’s open our eyes once for all on this.
And you know what ? It’s a good thing. Being satisfied could only mean that we’re not conscious of what true greatness is. It could mean blindness and self indulgence. Which are the death of all living creativity.
So for the sake of my own motivation, and maybe yours, I’ll state it plain and clear : creative satisfaction is for assholes. And you’re not. Neither am I, hopefully. So let’s reward ourselves warmly for this painful but necessary feeling.
On the other side it doesn’t mean we should rely on this fact and not push the process to the best we can. There lies the true challenge. Find the right balance. When do we put an end to the process of a story ? How do we know ?
If we can’t rely on an inside feeling of completion, the words of other will be vain. And if we rely on the words of other, we simply put aside any creative signature, we run away from the very essence of authorship. I have no handy answers. There are none. Writing is about entering darkness with a capricious and tiny candle, while the wind blows.
I have no answers, but I know life. How do we know our kids are ready for school? For leaving home ? How do we know we’ve found love, everlasting love ? How do we know we should end a friendship, a wrong relation ?
Well, we know after. Any decision only reveals its face afterwards. Before taking it we’re still in that uncomfortable place we call doubt or confusion. With few and fragile hints at what the good road is. The creative process is the process of life itself. Everlasting crossroads. Too simple and we betray life, we fall in clichés of thinking. Too complex and we’re overwhemeld.
Our hearts are challenged by the outside, by our limits and fears, our wishes and abilities.
We never know. Fight, smile, take it, leave it, go this way, change, declare war or cease fire, tell this or keep your mouse shut, cross the line or stand for it. We just decide and go on.
My son moved to his appartement today. He is happy, deeply in love and all is right.
I feel like crying.
But I know it’s a good move, a wonderful time for me and him, as father and son, and I thank life for it.
When our stories are ready, they just fly in the world, as birds opening their wings.
And I guess this is what life and writing are all about.