It’s something you’re already aware of. You’re much more aware that you’ve had this problem, and it’s been a major headache for you and your writing career. But, what did you do about it? Or have you just let it go and accepted it just as others faced every writer’s worst enemy?
Table of Contents
- How My Perfectionism Resolved To Forget A Precious Memory
- How I Found The Missing Piece At The Most Crucial Time
- How My Childhood Memory Plays A Pivotal Role In My Adult Life
- Perfection Is Nice, But It Needs A Balance.
- Writer’s Worst Enemy Isn’t About the Lack of Competence.
- Build a Strategic Plan for Writers.
- Final Thoughts
For a brief while, I was plagued by a flicker of a vision. “How could I have forgotten about this?” I told myself after it showed me the moment when I went to a nearby store, just two streets away from our house.
This happened just a few hours ago when I saw a fashion sketch that blew my mind, not because it was outstanding, but because it was unexpected. In reality, it’s just a regular one with a few traces of turquoise-colored ink surrounding the black strokes to form a woman in a dressed figure.
I’m not sure what happened or what triggered it. All I can say is that, contrary to my expectations, it was an incident that would most likely change the course of my life. A life with meaning. Did something similar happen to you recently?
How My Perfectionism Resolved To Forget A Precious Memory
I find myself composing in the small hours of the evening the words that have been bothering my thoughts for hours since I saw the vision of myself, roughly 10 years old. A small girl moved beneath the anguish, as if tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of needles, had pierced her delicate skin, to get to the store where paper dolls are sold.
I was typically alone while personifying each doll I acquired with my one Philippine peso allowance, unlike other youngsters who shared their collections with their peers. They seemed to be alive and had a close bond, even though they weren’t. Talking to them was most likely an unconscious attempt to distract myself from my lonely situation.
Recalling that scene led to a recollection of the events that followed at the time. I drew a zillion fashion patterns on a piece of paper and cut them out to fit the paper dolls from the moment I went into the store.
How I Found The Missing Piece At The Most Crucial Time
If it weren’t for that image I saw on Pinterest today, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to appreciate those small moments in my life that unwittingly influenced how I view and judge my circumstances as an adult.
I spent most of my later years obsessed with obligations while pursuing what everyone refers to as a “dream”—accumulating as many awards as possible in the hopes of quenching an undiscovered yearning in my spirit.
Pursuing excellence in everything was once a personal concept I held dearly and steadfastly, and I admit that I still have a few impulses now and then. There was no such thing as a “margin of error” or the notion that “practice makes perfect.” It was my thing to be a perfectionist to the point of obsessiveness.
I accepted everything, even the inevitable positive and negative outcomes, leaving little room for me to take a step back and consider my ambitions, whether they genuinely exist in my heart or care to live inside my veins at all.
Furthermore, I didn’t have time to reconcile and consider the possibilities of my aims because they had already been given to me by others. It’s living like a princess who has no choice but to live as an uneducated. She has never had to buy anything from a store because others have done it for them.
How My Childhood Memory Plays A Pivotal Role In My Adult Life
Having chunks of myself vanish is both sad and terrible, and it is a humbling experience, to say the least. It’s as if you’re reading Jesus’ story from his infancy to adulthood, skipping most of his early adulthood.
Similarly, I continue to have the same reoccurring ideas about my youth without realizing how much I have forgotten about myself. I failed to notice the tiniest details that could have had a significant impact on establishing a clear direction for my life.
Watching these sudden flashes of images reminds me of that delightful moment with my paper dolls and sketching clothes on a piece of paper, pasting each of them on cardboard to replace each dress I desire, and pushing the dull mass-produced ones aside while I’m in this thick of uncertainty.
It also allowed me a rare opportunity to re-evaluate my current state of happiness by asking, “What makes you happy? I mean genuine happiness and contentment when there’s nothing to smile about.”
For me, becoming happy has been a lifelong learning process, a life-driven purpose with no obvious solutions until I slowly recall those times when I simply felt the purity of my soul—times I frequently dismiss as a complete waste of time.
Perfection Is Nice, But It Needs A Balance.
It’s not improper to strive for excellence in your life. You must, however, tone it down. It’s another painful and difficult task, especially if we’ve been living our lives in this manner for much too long.
We became accustomed to the sense of attempting to achieve each goal with the assurance of seeing only the greatest results, and we became accustomed to it. We prefer to focus on the lack rather than the method and time it took to obtain it.
By attempting to gaze outside its confines, it is immediately difficult, and fear takes precedence. We can easily dismiss it as procrastination or writer’s block, but we fail to acknowledge that your religious perfectionism is holding you back.
It’s nothing worth our time for us if it doesn’t give us the best. Isn’t that so?
Writer’s Worst Enemy Isn’t About the Lack of Competence.
With all of this in mind, a writer’s deadliest adversary isn’t a lack of competence. It’s our skewed perspective on how to improve as a writer, which leads to our inability to complete the task.
Let me ask you a question to prove my point. How many articles have you still to complete? How many novels have you authored that are still dusty on the shelves?
The amount of undone work on your desk or computer, after all, says it all. I know and understand how guilty you may feel right now as you recall them, your priceless skill.
It’s difficult to let go of perfection, especially when we choose to stay victims and avoid fighting the tyranny that perfection has enabled to develop within us. As you may be aware, even acknowledging that our desired version of success is unattainable is sufficient.
It’s impossible, for example, to produce a perfect first draft of any composition. It will always be a difficult decision to write your ideas for the first time, and it will never meet your expectations… yet.
It must go through the “writing process,” which takes time and work and does not exempt anyone, not even the most experienced and greatest authors in our disciplines. If this is the case, how can you choose to live in the impossible?
Build a Strategic Plan for Writers.
To be sure, if we merely look at perfection as the ideal, it won’t help us in every situation. We constructed a dictatorship for the benefit of our ego by believing that even a single glance of imperfection is completely unacceptable and unneeded. We design a future for ourselves without comprehending how uncertain and unstable our objectives are.
So, don’t be too harsh on ourselves. Learn to embrace the process of becoming better and more effective writers by learning from our failures. It takes time and work, but you must put your trust in yourself rather than your egos.
Are you willing to go through with it just as I did overcome and fight against every writer’s worst enemy?
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