"He said, 'I'd rather be a beautiful failure than a deficient success.'
Hell, I wouldn't.
The image of the tragic artist who lays down his tools rather than fall short of his impeccable ideas holds no romance for me. I don't see this path as heroic. I think's it's far more honorable to stay in the game - even if you're objectively failing at the game - than to excuse yourself from participation because of your delicate sensibilities. But in order to stay in the game, you must let go of your fantasy of perfection.
So let's talk for a moment about perfection.
The great American novelist Robert Stone once joked that he possessed the two worst qualities imaginable in a writer: He was lazy, and he was a perfectionist. Indeed, those are the essential ingredients for torpor and misery right there. If you want to live a contented creative life, you do not want to cultivate either one of those traits, trust me. What you want to cultivate is quite the opposite: You must learn how to become a deeply disciplined half-ass."