When Perfectionism Gets In the Way
I’m not going to lie.
I’ve been having a tough time.
I’ve already deleted those two sentences twice.
While I don’t have OCD, I do have some obsessive traits which sometimes strangle me.
Has anyone noticed I haven’t been posting very much?
No? Good, that’s awesome.
Except it sucks.
Because I have actually been writing prolifically.
Last night, I was up until 2 AM working and reworking a piece about summer camp.
But I just can’t seem to bring myself to push PUBLISH.
When I first started this blog, I wrote with reckless abandon.
I was fearless.
But now I feel paralyzed.
So many of my cyber buddies manage to blog and publish books. While I am, of course, thrilled for them, I feel less than. I can’t understand what’s wrong with me. I know writing a book isn’t a race, but seriously? This thing is taking forever.
Clearly, I’m suffering from Comparison’s Disease, a 100% made-up syndrome coined by my husband to describe one of our friends — we’ll call him Tom — who is forever comparing one thing to something else.
Say we’re sitting at an outdoor cafe when a limousine blows by. Tom’ll be all: “Do you guys remember when we got caught behind that hearse?”
“Yeah,” I might say. “What’s your point?”
“Well, they’re both long and black.”
And then we’d laugh.
Because Tom’s Comparison’s Disease is funny.
Mine is different.
I’ve subscribed to a lot of blogs. Probably too many. Instead of inspiring me, I find myself losing steam.
Angry voices in my head shout at me.
The voices are pissed off and alternate between reminding me that I need to write better and faster and telling me that I suck. They tell me my words aren’t good enough, that I’ll never finish my book, that I should close up shop and get a job selling erotic toys or smoothies. Or something.
This post isn’t meant to be profound.
I just needed to confess that I’m feeling like a fraud.
Frankly, I just needed write something in 20 minutes.
To prove that I could.
I’ve been here before.
I’m sure I’ll dig my way out of this hole.
I just need to stop trying so hard for perfect.
Because perfect is the enemy.
I know this.
I just need to finish.
And look, 43 minutes later, I did.
Are you a perfectionist? What tricks do you have to keep moving forward when your brain is telling you everything you do is a terrible mistake?
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