Time for introspection! I mean what writer, or creative for that matter, doesn’t have at least a little bit of perfectionist in them?
We are trying to transcend the line between imagination and reality by translating whole worlds, realms and characters etched upon our minds and auras, our very sinew emanating the inspiration of their creation of the how, who, what, where and when in the form of perfectly curated words and sentences. It’s an intimidating prospect! Made even more so by the sheer fact that they are our creations! Our babies! Our children and happy places! You want to do them justice and not only that but you want the world to feel the same way as you do.
You want people to embrace your writing as they would a long lost friend, for they have provided for you so much and now you are ready to let them out into the world. So when you feel like your thoughts aren’t taking to the page as anything less than perfect it can be a real non-starter.
I’ve known many a perfectionist who were so crippled by the idea of less then, of “failure” that they would never allow themselves to begin. We are the makers. We thrive on imagination where ideas tend to percolate in the illusive dream world of conception. When it is time to convey them in a tangible format our expectations are set to want to meet the feelings, the ideals, that our fantasies set as standard.
We forget that reality, life, comes with a hell of a lot of little details. Breaching the realm of the real comes with gravity. Comes with troubleshooting, comes with odds and ends that can’t be contained in the principles of perfection.
But don’t you see that’s where true creation lies!
If we never start we never get the chance to see what life, in all its messy glory, adds to our brainchild. We can plan, we can outline, we can format and structure to our hearts content, but that isn’t creative.
Creativity comes when we are challenged and challenge comes when we jump in! I’m not saying don’t think. I’m not saying don’t have a plan of action. What I am saying is learn to have fun with the momentum.
That’s when your work can surprise you. That’s when you will surprise yourself. That’s when you will run into a conceptual problem that you will have to “create” your way out of and have to challenge your knowledge and insights to come up with something new!
This puts you in the position to play, to get to be the reader and shock yourself with the twist and turns of plot and character! That’s half the fun of creation is never knowing for sure what the result, the outcome will be.
By the time you write the end you might not have perfection (we all know to draft and draft again!) but you have the starting point. You have experience with a tangible creation. It you want to fix this, tweak that, remove that altogether and change his name to George great! But because you started with an open mind you will be ready to go into the editing phase still jived on the high of creativity.
There is no right and wrong when it comes to creativity because you set the standards. You are the one defining your process so what’s the point of perfection? It doesn’t exist here. Only progress has room to thrive when it comes to creation because without it you just another dreamer.
What separates the creators from the dreamers is that they start. It not might be what you expected or even thought you wanted, but classifying it in “good” or “bad” is only limiting your possibility of success. For they can only be defined and compared through the eyes of inception. By you.
You have the control here. It is your fear and doubt that draw the line of perfection. What if it isn’t good enough? What if I’m not good enough? What if it exposes my inexperience? What if no one likes it?
Well…What if you just see where it takes you?
One can always go back and start again. Life is full of a million beginnings, however the more you experience the less you will doubt your ability to at least try instead of paralyzing yourself into sitting still.
There is a huge difference between starting and starting from nothing. Better to leave a trail of words, of colors, of pages and lines then regret for time spent in a paralyzing state of fear of less.
Do more. Feel more. Be more. Write more.
Because in the end perfection is subjective, but creativity is freeing.