I struggle with perfectionism.
It’s a vicious cycle. I want to create something because I feel that that area of my life is lacking. I want it to be awesome and exemplary of my self-proclaimed good ideas. I plan my attack and path and tactics. Planning gets complicated and I start to get into the gritty details because I want to actually finish this idea this time. Planning becomes over-planning and slows down. Eventually the idea either becomes stagnant or my attention is diverted to a newer, more exciting idea.
Something I am trying to embrace, at least with my creative stuff, is imperfection. Nobody or no thing is perfect. Things can be close but nothing is perfect. And to add to that, creations only get better with repetition, practice, actual practical cyclical work.
Lots of motivational stuff blows smoke in this direction:
The 80/20 rule: how the first 80% of the work takes 20% of the time, and the remaining 20% of the work takes 80% of the time.
Or, the story of the person painting a fish. Someone asks a painter for a painting of a fish. The painter says he doesn’t know how and tells the person to come back in a month. He does, and when he comes back, he asks for the painting again. The painter effortlessly and quickly paints a perfect picture of a fish. The client is confused and wonders aloud why he had to wait a month for that. The painter opens a nearby door and out tumbles thirty paintings of fish, each one better then the previous.
Or, the pottery teacher grading half his class on quality and the other half on quantity: Half the class had one semester to produce one perfect pot. The other half of the class would be graded only on the quantity of the pots produced. The pots made by the half that were required to produce masses of pots vs. one pot were, of course, better.
I hear these stories yet am often paralyzed by perfection. Or even pre-perfection: “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” and the resulting effect of never actually doing anything because what you do won’t be good. I proofread things ten times. I outline things to death. I never even get to the creative, fun part. Just the planning part.
This site is going to be my attempt at “good enough.”
If you know me, you know this is something that I have been working at for as long as I can remember. There’s a bit of a mindset floating around the techy/entrepreneurial Web Internet social gamey startuppy type place: work fast, make mistakes, perfect is the enemy of done, or something, I don’t remember exact sentiments but the gist is there.
You won’t like everything I create, and neither will I. But I am, by definition, creating more then I was before I set out on this adventure. These creations are my fish paintings, my pottery.
So here’s to stream of consciousness, no outlines, proofreading only once. Executing on an idea that I come up with in one single take. No over thinking, no over planning, no finishing things later. Here’s to spelling mistakes or missing letters.
Here’s to actually finishing things.
Here’s to good enough.