Saying Goodbye to Perfect
I am so glad I got myself this blog site where I can share my journey and post all of about one post a year about my life living with mental illnesses. Yeah, I think I average at this point one or two blog posts a year.
The thing is I have once again let my perfectionistic self get in my own way. Every time I’ve posted here it has taken me hours and hours of obsessing over every word, every sentence, every thought that goes into my writing and even after I post I keep coming back and editing my words repeatedly.
Posting on this blog site, that was intended to be a raw, honest account of living and tackling mental illnesses in everyday life became terrifying, as I put the expectation on myself that every post on here should be nothing less brilliant in quality than a chapter from one of the great American novels.
I’ve constantly been waiting for that moment when I am in the absolute perfect mindset to write; when I am filled with energy, my mind is clear and crisp and beautifully articulated words just flow out of me like a river.
It was in the diary writings of John Steinbeck that I found great inspiration. As he was writing great books like The Grapes of Wrath, he was constantly plagued with self-doubt, yet through it all he continued to put in the work, crediting habit as a much stronger force than inspiration. Steinbeck would note that if one relies on inspiration alone even the smallest excuse can keep one from getting anything done and he would make himself put words on paper every day whether he felt they were any good or not.
I am also in love with one of his quotes from East of Eden where he writes: “and now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
I discussed my issues in regards to writing with my therapist and we came up with a plan. Every week I will schedule two hours to sit down and write a post. When these two hours are up I will post whatever imperfect scribble I will have written and then leave it be – not coming back to fix it at all. This scares me more than one can imagine so it has taken me months to actually get started on this.
Today I scheduled my first writing session, and after a little procrastination and spending the first hour watching everyone’s Snapchat story multiple times, Facebook stalking every person I’ve ever met and texting all my friends, I finally started. Note to self, next time put away phone, and keep Facebook closed the entire time.
I am nevertheless very proud of myself and excited to get writing again. I absolutely love to write and want to write so much more about my story, other people’s stories and even made up stories.
After a period of self-examination and self-discovery I have come to the conclusion that I would rather be imperfect with my words than perfect in my silence.
Until next week!