A Lesson on Imperfections

My four-year-old cut her hair. Youngest of three, she's the only one to have done this. Her sisters told her not to, but being the little firecracker she is, she didn't listen. But I couldn't really blame her--her hair was so long it went past her butt when wet. Dry it curled up to her waist. I imagine that could be quite bothersome for a preschooler always on the go.

So I put what was left of her hair in a ponytail (to be donated to Locks of Love) and snipped it off.

Which turned out to be one botched up mess. A very cute mess, at that. Somehow those mismatched lengths looked absolutely adorable. I loved it.

But then I had to go and even it up. Just a bit. A little here, a little there.

I ended up with a slightly more even but much shorter hairdo. And it just looked too stylized. Too perfect. And too short.

Sometimes we do that with writing. We try to make our latest WIP's perfect. But perfection is overrated--stale, empty, dead. Writing should teem with life, and imperfection makes stories real, giving it style and personality.

Don't get me wrong. Editing is important. We should all know how to edit and how to take harsh critiques. Half-assing a good story can ruin it.

But at some point you have to say, "Enough is enough. I'm done."

The other lesson I learned is I have no clue how to cut hair.


  1. I already knew that last lesson. ;-P
    Which is why I told you to wait and take her to get it cut on saturday.

  2. Both my girls have done that- up to the scalp even. Oh the tears, theirs and mine.

    But eventually, it does grow back.

  3. That is very true. Eventually you do have to say "enough is enough" otherwise the writing doesn't sound like you at all... and voice is so important.

    By the by, your daughter is adorable!

  4. Great analogy Rita. But from what I can see in the picture, you did a decent job. But I don't think there was much you could do to ruin your daughter's cuteness. What a sweetie.

  5. I have done that to my hair and my daughters' hair. Sigh. I never learn. She does look adorable. I bet you could shave her bald and she'd still be just as cute.

    Great analogy too. Sometimes you have to say, enough is enough. Not so much because you might ruin it, (although that is a very big possibility) but because in writing, there is always room for improvement, there is always something to change, tweak, make better and if you keep picking at it, you'll never get the damn thing out there for people to read.

    You thought I was going to make a comparison to a scab didn't you. Gross.


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