Perfection vs. Creativity

Hello reader. Have you ever worked on a project for many hours into the night because you felt it must be perfect? Did you feel that if the project wasn’t perfect, the purpose and meaning of all your work would be a waste?

I recently read a part of Anne Lamott’s book ‘Bird by Bird’ and in it, she declared perfectionism the enemy of creativity. That statement rings true for me in many ways, but specifically in music. When trying to come up with harmonies for a song, in my head I always wonder if it sounds perfect with the rest of the song. I want it to sound so perfect that it sends a chill up and down my spine. However, I soon realize that sometimes you just have to wing it and get creative with the notes. Often times, the result ends up better than I thought it would be.

Perfection is important, but sometimes it may take the fun out of a project that you planned to do. If, for example, you have an art project and are given two and a half weeks to complete it, you want it to be great, right? You have an image in your head, and want the piece that you produce to look just like that same image. As time goes on, you work hard to make sure it looks perfect, but when it comes to the final stages, you start to panic. The piece isn’t looking like the way you envisioned it. When that happens, don’t think that you’ve failed in reflecting the purpose of the piece, but instead think that you have been able to convey a message in a creative way.

Don’t discount creativity as a valuable asset to whatever you do and don’t let it get clouded up by thoughts of perfection. Using creativity instead of perfection may end up giving you a better or more interesting product than what you originally envisioned.


2 thoughts on “Perfection vs. Creativity

  1. Hi Kinya. This is insane. It relates so much to me. I am also very intent on my harmonies. They must be well done, before I can show them to anybody, much less try out with them for a music team. In music, I am stuck. I can’t really move anywhere because it has to be nice before I can show anyone.

    Are there different ways of creativity you can give us? It would be helpful. Thanks. Such a lovely post. Very very relatable to me.


  2. Kinya, I can also relate to this. Comparing creativity and perfection is an interesting way to take the matter, I like it. I have experienced that moment when my expectations do not meet my reality and as you said, maybe it is for the better.
    Do you feel like instead of perfectionism, there is still a way to achieve something close to perfect or great? Or does creativity always achieve greatness?


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