Rough Trade

Reblogging this from Nora Nahid Khan. Brilliant with a capital ‘B’!

Nora N. Khan


Perfectionism is a massive hurdle to creative work. The same impulse that is essential to editing, that moves you to check each line, fix up your prose, cut out every junky, nonsensical, messy bit, is the same drive that erases everything thorny and difficult.

In the impulse to perfect, smooth out and tidy up is a very seductive illusion of control. It’s an illusion, that you can control how anyone might read your work, how they might perceive you, or what your words will even say to them. Perfectionism throttles bravery.

The risk of all this effort at control is, of course, that your work can come off, at least to yourself, as a bit phony. You, the maker, know that you’re not saying what you want to say. I can read old work and see where I’ve turned away, where I didn’t push hard enough or at all. Coasted.

People can…

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9 thoughts on “Rough Trade

      1. Doctorates put Masters in their place, as do novices. In sports we find many qualified
        to take the name. Their “performance” continually defines the athlete.
        I think — to be a Master, you must act like one.
        What cannot be mastered?


        1. Very well said, Keith! Doctorate or Masters, the hard work, faith, and sacrifice must be present in some combination for it to happen, I suppose.

          Recently read a piece on the S.F. Forty-Niner’s quarterback (Colin Kaepernick whose renewed six year contract is worth one hundred twenty-six million dollars??? Kind of like putting the cart(full of money!) before the horse and saying: ‘Now you go become someone we can call a ‘Master of the Sport’. Not to say he hasn’t proven himself to be valuable…

          What cannot be mastered?

          LOVE? yeah, I’ll go with that!


        1. Oh yes, I agree! I am a big fan of Nadal and have been from day one. I too call him a Master on the red clay of Roland Garros. It was a remarkable final match. Nole did his thing and has nothing to be ashamed of, but on clay Rafa seems to find another gear when he needs it. He digs in, believes in himself, never gives up. Even when he loses, he never makes excuses. He is open and honest in his self-assessments. I’m reading his autobiography- quite interesting!


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