When I started writing, like many who similarly start on this journey – I wanted to churn out only the best of the best. Masterpieces – even if a page it was going to be – I wished for it to be perfect. Edited again and again, thought out well and again and again, sentences flowing like the Ithaca streams – spontaneous fluidity with just the right amount of vortexes at the right places. But alas! That didn’t happen. In spite of the extremely competitive literary world and the controls that imposes automatically on the quality, I have written and published a lot of imperfect pieces. Typo’s I wish I could just wish away, sentences that don’t read well on the nth read, and even positions and points that I don’t want to make the same way anymore. And I now realize, that is what writing needed to be for me to serve the purpose I needed to serve.
I wasn’t writing for money. I was writing to speak out. I had and still have too much to say – too many tangled thoughts in my head – too many injustices I want to speak out against – too many experiences I want to share. I needed to place these words on paper and have them read and heard for my own sanity. I wanted to share my experiences, my imperfections, my struggles, my confusions, my frustrations, to give voice to such of many others. I would have never, ever achieved my goals if I awaited to perfect my pieces.
My imperfect thoughts – on if or not I should go back to India, or if ADHD is a mere nuisance or debilitating - are the way they are because they are honest and un-perfected. Having them shared in this wabi sabi form; I realized through the years, is imperative for them serving their purpose of finding others who lend the next sentence by sharing their own similarly confusing stories. Finding others who understand they aren’t alone.
I started on this realization as an epiphany one day when reading another blog post on The Huffington Post. I was diagnosed with OCD quite young and have been on and off medication – accepting imperfection isn’t easy for me – just like the cards on my desk which bother me when not perfectly straight - I struggle reading a piece in which I find a sentence slightly out of alignment – I itch reading comments which point out typos – I feel my heart beating faster when I realize I spoke too soon on an issue, or phrased a thought wrong. I pace and obsess on and on. But reading this piece by a fellow blogger on Huff Post who had a few sentences out of place, I suddenly realized, that it is those sentences that made the piece real and relatable. I could feel the author, thinking through her confusing thoughts, just like I do. And that gave me strength. That also made me care about what she was saying.
So I don’t believe I am of any good – any remote match even – to the skills the literary field has in storytelling. I am just an imperfect vocal thinker with a keyboard and some platform who have realized that at least for the thoughts I want to provoke, courage and persistence is worth obsessing over, not perfection. And to others like me, I want to say, in today’s world of the free internet and millions of ways to get heard, don’t wait to write the perfect piece. Just write.