Saturday, July 28, 2012


Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. ~Henry van Dyke

When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target. ~George Fisher

These quotes really speak to me today."It's perfect!" My two year old daughter exclaimed, proudly holding a drawing she created in art class. A part of me delighted in her present-centered joy and self -esteem. Another part of me cringed as I wondered if she knows the meaning of the word "perfect" at such a tender age. For many of us , perfectionism is a tool we use to postpone our dreams and procrastinate. Many people I talk to are waiting for those "perfect" conditions to start writing their book, find a soulmate or change careers. Time and experience have taught me that conditions are rarely perfect for beginning any endeavor. As a working mom, I have no desire or time for the old perfectionism that I used to embrace. Sometimes I overcook dinner, don chipped nail polish or leave the house with my hair disheveled. My new goal is to see the perfection in every day, instead of trying to make every day perfect.

How do you define perfect?
How can you eliminate perfectionism in your own life and write the book of your dreams?
 Aileen McCabe-Maucher is the author of the book "The Inner Peace Diet" which was published by Penguin Books and released in December 2008. Aileen is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist who has helped many people find inner peace and discover their unique life purpose. Aileen has worked for over fifteen years as a licensed psychotherapist and registered nurse providing individual and group counseling to a diverse client population. Aileen is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania and writing her third book.
Visit to get your free Inner Peace Diet ecourse/mini book today.


Faye Tollison said...

The perfect message. I edited and rewrote my first book to death because I wanted it perfect. I should have been writing on my second book, and if I had not gotten so tired of rewriting and editing, I guess I'd still be trying to make that book perfect. So now I'm writing my second book, and I know it will never be perfect. No book is, but I'll do the best that I can. Our readers don't pay attention to all the imperfections that we tend to see in our writing. As long as we can write a good story, they are happy.

Faye M. Tollison
Upcoming books: THE BIBLE MURDERS
Member of: Sisters in Crime
Writers on the Move

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Aileen, What a wonderful way to put it. "To see the perfection in every day." A willingness to take action, even if it is not perfect will get one a lot farther, then waiting for the perfect action to take.

Mary Jo Guglielmo

Magdalena Ball said...

I agree Aileen, and nicely put. "Perfect" is an absolute term which is anything but absolute - it's a shifting and subjective goal. I think with writing the best thing is to just continue working - to see writing as a practice - and leave aside questions of quality until after it's finished. Otherwise 'performance anxiety' and arbitrary judgements on what is, and isn't perfect can paralyse us. It's the worst form of block.

Karen Cioffi said...

Aileen, I love Fisher's quote and your quote. That is an amazing way to look at perfection: see the perfection in every day, instead of trying to make every day perfect. Boy, are those words to live by!

And, they pertain so easily to writing, as Maggie brings out.

Kathleen Moulton said...

I would imagine that some of our perfection comes from learning that query letters, manuscripts, etc., must be perfect. As with anything else, I suppose balance is key - don't let the perfection squelch our creativity.



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