Perfection is a strange thing.
When it comes to life, I don’t expect perfection. In fact, it could be said there are many things (people included) I love both in spite of and/or because of their imperfection. Sometimes it is imperfection itself that is perfect and yet strangely we cannot measure one without the other.
I think you get the gist.
And then there are the expectations I have of myself. I’m not perfect – I don’t expect to be perfect – but when it comes to skills important to me, my best effort won’t do. Much like my dream to draw at level-Rembrandt in fifty strokes, I want to write brilliance in fifty words. These story plots, these scenes that run like a movie in my head are perfect right now. But can I make this idea-seed grow? Can I recreate these images in words? Self-doubt often wins and I freeze, hands over keyboard, afraid I’ll ruin my imagination with the reality of my writing skill.
I struggle with writing on many levels, this is just another level. It’s stupidly melodramatic but unfortunately, knowing this doesn’t change how I feel about it and I become annoyed with myself. I know the cure for not writing is writing, the way to write better is to practice but inaction means I haven’t yet failed. And so the cycle continues. And then I feel guilty – I waste time holding myself back.
What is wrong with me? I need Edna Mode to beat me with a newspaper and tell me to pull myself together (I guess that makes me Procrasti-girl). So I write blog posts like this one to try and give myself clarity, to try and reprogram a lifelong mindset and I read how-to-write advice in the hope of finding a series of mind-bending words that completely change the way I think.
My husband doesn’t like me writing this type of blog post. He doesn’t feel they reflect the happy, cute-loving, animal-patting, grinning loon I am. These posts give no hint that my husband’s sometimes forced to ask me, “why are you dancing?” while we’re in the supermarket. And he’s right, but I don’t intend to be negative, in my mind it’s truth, it’s writing my frustrations down, screwing them up and throwing them to the rubbish bin and missing. Sometimes you just need to write what is in your heart. If we’re looking for positives here – sometimes it makes me feel better. Sometimes it allows me to break through the self-doubt. And I am making progress. Maybe this wasn’t my year to attempt NaNoWriMo, but I did submit a short story to a competition. While I haven’t written much, I am writing more, and this here is my fiftieth blog post. *cracks open the champagne*
Yesterday I read some how-to-write wisdom that while perhaps not mind-bending it struck a pleasing chord.
The full post is here.
The moral is this: Give yourself permission to suck. Write.