My essay “Radical Imperfectionism” in the academic text Creative Writing Innovations, describes my theory for teaching creative writing in inclusive classrooms as “…releasing oneself from binary thinking, giving up the idea of getting the draft or the sentence ‘right’ at any one point—it’s about giving up what is right or wrong as an answer to the construction of written language, especially creatively written language in a classroom context.” The drive of any creative endeavor, any creatively focused life must embrace the imperfect as paramount. Language is a living organism, and it must allow for all types of changes and imperfections so that communication can be effective. Creative language demands the understanding of structure but it also dances within and often outside of that structure. Poems can be a string of intentionally curated punctuation and emojis or they can be strictly hammered sonnets and all of those forms have transcended its original intent and that is utterly magical in itself. To exist, language must keep us engaged, mesmerized and that cannot happen in stagnation of perfection. I used to get upset with myself when I would do readings of my work and I realized there was a different way I could have written something. I had to forgive myself and love my words all the more for always teaching me something new. As a person living with a chronic and incurable autoimmune disease that requires meticulous calculations with multiple variations and sensitivities, my life is a fine balancing act with few constants. Dr. Joslin, who was one of the main researchers that developed artificial insulin called life with the disease “a science and an art” because there is no absolute control when it comes to dosage, which makes insulin the life raft and the shark. Even with modern tech precision, there is a distinct margin of error when it comes to administering insulin and I have had to develop an intricate dance with my body, and above all, I must forgive myself when I step on my own foot. I choose a radical embrace with my imperfections to maintain mental and physical health; striving for “perfection” is just a distraction from living authentically, it puts production before process, which is often detrimental to the creative process.
Want a coaching session on how you can boost your creativity by embracing a more radically imperfect life?
Do you think your group, organization or students could benefit from releasing themselves from the bondage of perfectionism so that they can get over transgressions or creative blocks?
© 2018 | Tonya Cherie Hegamin