There are Times in Life When you Just Have to Kill your Babies

This quote is about the break between having the dream and living with it. But, you can read so much into a few words.

I’m a fan of writer Ann Patchett, whose book, Truth and Beauty, is one of my favourites. This week, thanks to the website, Brain Pickings, I came across a fantastic Patchett quotation that hit very close to home, especially the last line:

“The journey from the head to hand is perilous and lined with bodies. It is the road on which nearly everyone who wants to write — and many of the people who do write — get lost… Only a few of us are going to be willing to break our own hearts by trading in the living beauty of imagination for the stark disappointment of words.”

The stark disappointment of words is something I know a little too much about. So often the idea in my head, which initially seems so good, falls apart once I begin to try to assemble the words on paper. Suddenly my remarkable idea becomes frustratingly ordinary.

Source: Lindy Mechefske – “the stark disappointment of words” and an easy flourless chocolate truffle cake

This quote makes me think about writers having to kill their babies. That was a quote I read about editing your writing. Your words and phrases being taken out of existence. Deleting unnecessary wordage. Editing.

But, I find in life, the idea of editing things or deleting them, or exterminating… there are lots of good words for it… is an important skill to have. All things but in moderation. If you can master that in life you will save yourself a lot of stress, have more space (physically and mentally) and save money too.

Of course, no one should literally kill babies, or other children. At least let them get to adulthood, or the age of 20, and be guilty of something on the extreme side, first. Its ok to be a little dramatic, just not too literal about it.

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