What follows is a very interesting article that made me think about the way I cope with the feeling of uneasiness, the feeling of powerlessness, the feeling of not being able to reach the quality I want, when I write.
I’m a perfectionist, I have always been.
What does it mean? How is the life of a perfectionist?
In a simple sentence: it doesn’t matter what the others tell you about your work, about how good you are; you’ll always think you’re not good enough.
It’s a process that is common to every aspects of my life: at work, in the education of my children, in the management of my hobbies.
Perfection must be there. Or at least, I must try to achieve it.
I write, and among the thousands of readers I already had in free websites, I recevied lot of positive feedbacks (and some negative ones, of course). But when I read others I’m always amazed by how good they are.
I play a musical instrument and the more I learn about it, the more I realize I’m not good enough. Even when you play in front of a thousand people and everyone appreciates you, you just cannot think you played well.
It’s a never-ending journey to a perfection that simply does not exist.
Knowing this simple matter is the key in coping with the feelings I was speaking above.
So what do you do, once you rationally are aware of this fact? Because you may know it, but the body reacts on its own and so does the mind. You can be scared of a little spider, knowing rationally it can’t harm you in any way, and still feel chills down your spine if you have to touch it.
This is what I do: I lie; I lie to myself. Or better said, I pretend.
The mind can be rewired, rewritten and remapped, to some extent. In the same way you can force yourself to touch a spider to show your children there is no harm doing that (don’t worry, you can run to the other room and cry after a couple of minutes, just be sure they’ll not see you!), you can force yourself to be positive about your writing.
Thinking you’re not perfect is just a positive feeling that will lead you to improve more and more.
Thinking you’re not perfect just means you try to create content your readers will like even more.
But still, you must tell yourself you’re good enough, sometimes: good enough to attract some reader, good enough to entertain them.
This is the only power you need to start. Of course, only to start: you know you can never, completely lie to yourself. But it’ll keep your spirit alive until…
.. well, until you’ll actually receive good reviews of your works and you’ll slowly understand that perfection is overrated. What’s important is to convey your feelings to the reader. To make him laugh, or cry.
( If you’ll receive only bad reviews, though, I suggest to do some practice publishing your writings on some free platform. Free readers are usually more keen to give good feedback, if you really need them to keep on writing! )