And I have no excuses. None of any kind.
Because, I'll admit it, as much as you try to keep a schedule, and as much as you try to be a dedicated, hard-working person who manages to write every day, sometimes, it just doesn't happen. To all pre-published authors out there, I'll tell you there are going to be days, weeks, months, or even years where maybe no writing happens whatsoever. It's just life getting in the way. It sucks, and it happens.
So here we go with my rant. My big confession.
I am a perfectionist. There, I said it.
1. The Writer's Loveable Taskmaster
But then we have . . .
2. The Writer's Secret Monster
And the most horrible thing about all this?
I felt guilty about avoiding it the entire time. I felt like a “bad person” for not working on it, and often I would say I was a bad person as a joke, but deep down, I kinda believed it.
Slaying the Monster
One thing to know about me is when I get annoyed, I get constructive. Proactive. This isn’t more clearly seen than when I’m playing a video game and the boss won’t stand still and die like he’s supposed to. Hmph. Headshot for me, thank you very much.
However, this particular proactive moment was less violent. :)
I sat down and admitted to myself I had a problem. My book is one of the biggest things in my life, and I honestly wouldn't be who I am today without it. But that's why I knew I had a problem. I wasn't excited about it anymore. I dreaded it, actually. And when you dread the thing you love most, you've definitely got yourself a dilemma. So I sat down and I admitted to myself I was burned out and I needed a break. An honest break where I didn't feel guilty about taking a break.
So I did, and I played a ton of stress-free Kingdom Hearts to revitalize myself. (Well, it was stress-free unless we include a particular series of boss battles in Chain of Memories that will go unmentioned *cough, Marluxia, cough*.)
Anyway, after my break, which was about a month long (I didn't set the length. That just happened to be how long it was.), I sat down and analyzed this whole perfectionism thing. I came up with a sentence that was simple, yet kind of an eye-opener: "It's okay if it's not perfect."
Like I said, simple sentence, but for a perfectionist like me, it was a revolutionary concept. I sort of felt silly once I realized it, because, logically, of course perfection is impossible. It was such a simple idea, I wondered why I hadn't thought of it before, but there it was.
Now, I'm still working through this idea, and I have to say this sentence to myself before I start to work now. I'm still not 100% with it, and the pressure is still there, but when I do remember to say this to myself, a huge weight just lifts off my shoulders, and it is so much easier to write it's ridiculous.
So to all my fellow writers—or even for others who don't write, yet still have projects and aspirations they love—whose progress is being held back by perfectionism, I'm here to tell you there is an escape.
Perfectionism is by no means a bad thing, and there are many benefits to wanting something to be the best it can be. But the best something can be will never be perfect, and the biggest thing to remember about that is it's okay.
Make it the best it can be. Just don't try to make it perfect. ;)