As difficult as to be good

Many writers struggle against perfectionism. In previous posts we discussed omitting extra words, editing for clarity. Simple clarity is not in the least easy to achieve. It never has been. As far back as 1837 writer and poet Thomas Hood quoted “the easiest reading is damned hard writing”.

We know that no human is perfect. Neither can anybody be ‘good’ all the time. Yet we often make the mistake of expecting perfection in our writing. The number of articles devoted to defeating perfectionist tendencies toward gives us a clue as to the extent of the struggle. All anyone can do is their best and to strive to improve. At some time we have to say enough and submit.

The habit of reading


How do you escape from an interminable journey or meeting you’ve lost all interest in, a boring lecture which has no relevance for you, or a yet another retelling of a long story by an Alzheimer’s sufferer?

When you don’t want to give offence or can’t get up and walk out, the habit of reading can give you a place of (mental) escape which is fresh in your mind. Puzzling over where the author is leading you and what will happen next should be able to keep your mind quite happily occupied.

When you need to take your mind off your own pain and suffering, when medication isn’t completely effective, reading a good book is a great alternative. Escape to a different time and place, a world where anything can happen and probably will and have a lovely little mental holiday.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not advocating a mental holiday from a conversation, meeting or lecture which has a legitimate claim on your attention.Most times we can not and should not lose concentration on what we are doing, especially if we are driving a vehicle. A fantasy world can be a dangerous place to live. Unfortunately, reality must intrude on our fantasies now and then.