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Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien

Three weeks ago, I walked away from my job of four and a half years. The adjustment has been jarring.

The adjustment has also been the best. (It will surprise no one to know that I’ve already returned to working twelve-to-fourteen-hour days. Only now, I work for myself.) I have weekends again and actual days off that are full days off–if I want them. I have time to put toward the things I want to accomplish with my life, to travel, to code, to write, to explore problems that affect us, and to work toward solving those problems. The freedom is exquisite.

I will no doubt share the projects I’m working on in more detail in the coming months, but I wanted to take a moment and talk about clarindawrites. Four months ago today, I launched this website. It was my first time making a website, and I’d say I managed to maintain and improve it haphazardly at best: I had other obligations that required most of my time and attention (see aforementioned job). But those commitments are now concluded, and I can focus on this project.

On Mondays, I plan to keep posting art from around the world. And on Fridays, I plan to keep posting material to explore over your weekends. But Wednesdays will be writing days. On Wednesdays, I’ll post something I’ve written, no matter how terrible. And yes, this post is the first in what I hope will turn into a streak.

Full disclosure–I made clarindawrites to use as a laboratory for different things I wanted to try on the internets. For this first Writing Wednesday post, I drafted a long piece about the Brexit, a longer essay on the rise of anti-intellectualism and its effects on politics, and even a listicle on accountability and productivity. Unfortunately, none of those articles seemed ready enough to publish, which means I must abandon the notion of “ready enough to publish.” The French have an expression they attribute to Voltaire who himself attributes it to an unnamed Italian sage in his poem “La Bégueule”: “Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.”

Translated to English, the aphorism reads, “The best is the enemy of the good.” One might never complete a task if one keeps working at it until it’s perfect.

The only thing that needs to be perfect in a laboratory are the conditions in which to conduct one’s experiments. And even then, good is enough.

We have the conditions. It’s time to complete some tasks.


  • Charles Major June 29, 2016

    Good work! Perhaps we should abandon the idea of the best entirely. Perfectionism can be just as strangling as laziness or procrastination. Let’s abandon in and find the good in the good. Sometimes I wonder whether “the best” is a coherent concept at all.

  • IaR June 29, 2016

    Cool. The Brexit piece sounds really cool.

  • P DC June 30, 2016

    Sounds great. Will wait read about Brexit.

  • Constance June 30, 2016

    Whatever you do, you’ll succeed.

  • Adam June 30, 2016

    I’m looking forward to the next Writing Wednesday!

  • Louie July 1, 2016

    Post your writing. It’s awesome.

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