Perfection Is The Enemy of Priceless


You might think that writing a memoir is near impossible. To sum up all your life experiences and lessons in a short book is something that only the most talented writer can accomplish. We mortals who haven’t spent our careers writing books wouldn’t even know where to start, and therefore, we generally don’t.

This line of thinking is absurd. I want to permanently remove it from your head.

The most talented author in the world can’t even come close to writing a complete summation of your life and lessons. Life is too complex to be completely described in a book.

Logically, we know this. James Joyce needed 783 pages to describe an ordinary day of an ordinary man in Ulysses. Describing your entire life in just a few hundred pages is simply impossible. Yet many people think this is the goal of writing a memoir.

Knowing this, how can you write the perfect memoir? You can’t. No person has ever written a perfect memoir, and none ever will. Every person who has ever successfully completed a memoir has realized that perfection is impossible, perfection is for suckers, and perfection is the enemy of priceless.

Priceless are the smiles of your kids and grandkids, knowing that future generations will understand where they came from, remembering all the amazing things you have done in your life, developing deeper bonds with your family, and making the process of writing your memoir fun and enjoyable. Priceless is something that is within the reach of every single person. Priceless is what you really wanted, you just didn’t know how to say it.

So, if you’re worried about your memoir not being perfect, don’t be. I guarantee it won’t be perfect. However, that won’t matter, because once you stop worrying about writing something perfect, you can move onto the serious business of writing something priceless.

This article is part of the How To Write Your Memoir series.

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