»Try again. Fail again. Fail better.« – Overcome perfectionism.

This is a quote by Samuel Beckett, that Hildegund Rupp cited today while offering an evening lecture on the topic of »writing and shame«. This made me reflect on the detail, that in writing we are constantly facing failure in many different ways.

In Psychology, it is assumed that people progress through directed fails. You do something – you fail. You restart – you fail. In writing, this is something we are confronted with, dealing with inner censorship, e.g. too high ideals and expectations of myself (»I have never written anything worthy!«), because of imaginary target groups (»I have to satisfy my readers fully and all of them!«) or because of other ghosts we may decide to interact with (»It has to sound perfect!«).

So here is what I think: These so called fails in writing are the necessary pain we have to go through so that a text arises. There is unseen in our daily lives and this unseen part (can be some sort of »huh, this I didn’t want to be public!«) is to some extent what creates a good text. If a reader gets the impression that he is drawn into secrets that otherwise he would not have discovered, into perspectives he would not have imagined and maybe even into an emotional state of newness, of freshness towards this particular topic, an author has done a good job. And this goes well for the writer. If he can bring about some style or content that creates a new thought (»Hello, there you are!«), then this is all the gratification there is in writing.

Keep going, keep it open! (Oh no, this is an end!)

See my new content on substack