A Belief in Perfection

Every time when my hands rest on a keyboard or when pen meets paper, I gladly embrace ignorance.  I let myself disregard the growing contradicting evidence piled before me, and I try again.

I try to write.

I know the hilarity of that statement, but I’m not hinting at illiteracy or inability.  Believe me, after years of elementary school cursive lessons and countless classes, I’ve never questioned the process, but the end result, what I’m left with, has always carried an unsettling taste of being unfinished.

I believe in perfection.

Perfection is a misdiagnosed case of insanity, and while it is the same force that drives me insane as I decide whether my writing is finished or not, it is my enduring belief in this forbidden fruit that keeps my writing.

I view my thoughts and ideas as fluid, similar to water in that I can feel them, but if I try to grasp ahold of them, their true essence dissolves in shared comprehension. Writing is the transmission of consciousness into a very real thing, something that can be understood by others.  Every time I write, I continue to reach for this undefinable personal truth and show it to the world, but without fail, perfection’s essence is lost in translation.

Writing without the belief of achieving this ideal exchange of consciousness to communication would destroy the appeal that causes me to strive for an unreachable limit.  It’s the unsatisfying, torturous feeling that I feel when writing my seventh draft, writer’s block and staring into the vast whiteness of a blank Microsoft Word document.  The feeling that what I truly know can not be shared.  I write because I refuse to believe that it’s impossible.

I write because I believe in perfection.

Tantalus is a myth about a man who is tortured by a thirst and hunger that can't be quenched, yet he tries forever to quench his desires.
Tantalus is a myth about a man who is tortured by a thirst and hunger that can’t be quenched, yet he tries forever to quench his desires.


Ryan Hayes

I hail from the hidden gem of the midwest Chanhassen, Minnesota home of Prince, Buffalo Wild Wings and cornfields. While my home clings to my identity leaving a perception of a faux-canadian with a hockey addiction, let me redefine myself: I am a person that is actively balancing nostalgia and thoughts of tomorrow in search of being in the now. I am an aspiring, young professional who needs to learn to shave more frequently. I am a personality, a voice and a perspective.

3 thoughts to “A Belief in Perfection”

  1. I think this was really creative and awesome. A lot of different aspects jumped off the page; your stressing of the frustration that comes with writing, or seeking any perfection, and your paragraph comparing water to writing. It was definitely clear to me your struggle to strive for perfection through this frustrating manner, and if you choose to do this “path” (lack of a better word) I think there is a lot of room to expand on that internal battle! I like the forbidden fruit part!!!! lol

  2. Really interesting piece! I share a lot of the same feelings when I write. I really liked your reference to the mythology. I think that you should delve more into the concept of perfection and how it is impossible to achieve.

  3. I really liked how you were descriptive in the beginning about the difficulties you have with writing. This line “Perfection is a misdiagnosed case of insanity” I thought was great, and I like the way you talk about yourself and your writing as a painful process. I felt your pain the way you were describing the search for perfection, and I’ve definitely felt that way before too.
    I think it might be interesting if in your essay you talk about what this strive for perfection has done to your outlook on writing. Have you come to resent it? And if not, how do you keep yourself motivated with such a seemingly impossible goal?

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