Sunday, May 8, 2016

Perfectionism, Writer's Block, and Weathering Storms

I’m a perfectionist.  In fact, I’ve been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember.  As they say of things like this, it’s both a blessing and a curse.  LOL  If you’re also a perfectionist, then you know that while it’s beneficial to be meticulous, especially in the creative genre, you can also drive yourself nuts with details to maintain the high standards you’ve set for yourself.  That’s why I’ve been absent from my blog for more than six months.  Well, that and a nasty case of writer’s block and having to ride out a few “storms.”  I’ve felt guilty about not posting, but it’s time to let go of the guilt and move forward.

The problem was that it seemed like each blog post was better than the last – and I don’t take credit for that – as the majority of the words I’d written had been channeled from the spiritual realm.  I’d read what I’d written and say to myself, “Where did that come from?  That’s really good!”  LOL After my last blog post in October, I wasn’t getting anything that lent itself to a lengthy discourse.  I didn’t know how I was going to top what I'd done or even equal it.  I would get little tidbits here and there, but when I’d try to elaborate, it wouldn’t go anywhere.  I was definitely not channeling.  LOL

I didn’t want just a few paragraphs.  I wanted at least a page.  I 'd set a standard for myself, and I wasn’t about to deter from at least equaling what I'd done previously, both in quantity and quality.  Every time I would think about blogging, I didn’t feel inspired.  I thought to myself, it’ll happen when it happens just like the other ones.  But it didn’t seem to happen.  No inspiring words or profound concepts were coming to me.  I’d lost it.  The momentum was gone.

So, I started other projects and told myself that I didn’t have time to devote to blogging.  The reality was part of me was just being lazy.  All the while, in the back of my mind, there was that guilt gnawing at me … “you need to do your blog, you need to do your blog.”  As the months went by, it became easier and easier NOT to do the blog.  I had vowed that I wouldn’t be one of those people who would let their blog lapse.  I went into it knowing that part of doing a blog was making sure that it was kept current.  I knew that a daily or weekly commitment wasn’t feasible to start out, but I felt confident that a monthly schedule wouldn't be a problem.

Well, as they say, life happens when you’re busy making other plans.  In addition to making excuses for not blogging, 2016 came in with a roar, and various things started to go wrong.  I needed to go through a few storms.  As they say, no storm lasts forever.  Sometimes, it seems like it might, but it never does.  Eventually, things settle down and calm prevails.

These are the lessons I’ve learned from this experience:

1     Perfectionism is a hard habit to break, but it’s possible to lighten up on yourself.  When you realize that you’re being irrationally unsatisfied with your work, step away from it and come back to it with “fresh eyes.”  Try to release feelings of needing it to be a certain way or not at all.  Don’t feel like you have to equal or surpass what you’ve done previously.  That’s like needlessly competing with yourself.  Be open-minded, and let it be whatever it is.  

2    Every writer gets writer’s block.  It goes with the territory.  The block will ultimately end, and you’ll be able to move forward, but you must pick yourself up and do it.  Get back onto that keyboard!  Never let one failed attempt define who you are.  You’re more than that.  Your words are needed, and only you can provide those words. 

3    Things aren’t always going to go as expected.  You must learn to be adaptable and maneuver around the detours on the winding road of life.  Accept that there may be obstacles on your path, and know that you'll ultimately move past those obstacles.  As you come out on the other side of each storm, it’ll get easier, and you’ll get stronger.  Weather the storms, and look for the rainbows!

With love, light, and Angel blessings!

Michelle





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