I am a bit of a perfectionist. I have been trying to think of a topic for this post for over a week now and didn’t feel like I had enough substance for any idea in particular. So, what better than to talk about how my perfectionism gets in the way from time to time? I was reminded of a very helpful activity the other day while reading a blog post by Heather Neal; the activity is called “Morning Pages”. This is where you are supposed to write 3 pages of thoughts first thing every morning. These are not supposed to be premeditated in any way, just stream of conscious as you are sitting and writing. I had started doing morning pages a little over a year ago (I think that is what built up my confidence to start a blog in the first place), but had stopped just after I found out I was pregnant….not enough energy to think yet alone write during that first trimester lol.
Anyways, this activity started out extremely challenging for me. I wanted to write inspirational ideas and use smooth language rather than choppy thoughts. I would find that as soon as I sat down with pen and paper my brain would go blank. How is it that I could have a million thoughts every second, to the point of not being able to track them all, to having absolutely nothing to write about? I realized that it was my perfectionism that was blocking me. I like things that are clean and organized, legible and clear, not spelled wrong, scratched out or written too fast to read. To start working through this I had to write about how I didn’t know what to write about. Once the pen slowly got put into motion, the flood gates of thoughts was open again.
I started to praise myself for scratching out words mid-sentence because a better one popped into my head, this was a more accurate portrayal of my thought process, it can change tone mid-thought sometimes. I was letting the pages write themselves rather than dictate what could and could not be documented in ink.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, embracing the imperfections will give creativity room to grow. With time and practice the overall end product will improve naturally.
So as hard as it is for me not to re-read this post over and over to fix wording and rearrange ideas, I am just going to hit “Publish” as is and hope it makes enough sense for any reader to follow. (okay, I’ll confess I did proof read it once)