Sometime during college, between literary lectures and creative writing workshops, my inner perfectionist woke up and starting comparing me to everyone else and screaming that every word was pure crap, and never ever good enough. She stuck to me like glue, and I just can’t seem to get rid of her.
I used to write unabashedly and often, I wrote about everything, an idea would pop into my head and flow seamlessly onto the paper, uninterrupted by any internal editor or scathing imaginary critic screaming it was worthless junk. It wasn’t always good, but I wrote because I loved writing.
I used to draw and paint too. I would just create because I could. I didn’t self criticize or think about the opinions of others; I just did it because I liked it.
It seems that somewhere along the line I stopped being able to just be openly creative. I have the occasional wildly creative burst, but mostly writing is a series of fits and starts followed by holding down the backspace key until the page is blank again and starting over until I just give up. I usually move on to something easier, like doing laundry or attempting to sit on my own head. And paintings or drawings almost always end up in the trash.
I really hate the perfectionist, she’s a judgmental bitch. She very rarely sleeps, mostly only when I do, and sometimes even then she’s waking me up trying to fix things. I’d like to learn how to knock her out. Or better yet, turn her into one of those friends you hardly ever see but can always call on when you need them. I’d really rather hang out with the idealistic, creative, quirky chick more often; I’ve always liked that girl much better.
The way I see it, the more creative opportunities I give myself, the more chance I have to ignore that perfectionist part of me and make her learn her place. So my mission is to just keep making plans with my inner creative chick without inviting the perfectionist, maybe if I do it often enough she’ll start to get the hint and chill out a bit –I’d really like it best if we could all coexist together.
From here on out, it’s going to be: create, create, create. Striving for perfection can come later.