Trying to be perfect will kill you.
8 months of travel. 3 continents. Hundreds of amazing, interesting, compelling experiences.
A measly 57 posts.
And yes, I know I am the only one to blame. But today I’ve decided to tell the truth about why I’ve been putting off writing. It’s because I’m shit scared.
You see, I’m a bit of a perfectionist that thrives off achievement. Ie. I don’t wanna be writing me no mediocre posts yo. There are NUMEROUS reasons behind this, but lets just say I may have validated myself based on how gosh darn clever I was when I was younger. And now with millions of bloggers out there, a world wide web to compete with and a brain that doesn’t quite yet know if if I’ve got ‘IT’ or not, the pressure seems too much. However, I know that no matter how afraid of failure you might be, there is literally (used in the correct way here) 0% chance of success. And I mean, really… how can you even fail at blogging? That’s almost the point.
Every time something fantastic would happen I’d think to myself, “Ooooh, I know I could turn that into a fanciful tale of mystery and magic”; whenever a particularly enlightened thought managed to filter it’s way through my blonde mane and into my noggin I’d thrill myself with how I was to present its wisdom to the world. And then I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even start
‘Good enough’ wouldn’t be in my vocabulary if I had my way. Too much is it at stake – when I present my work, it needs to be 100% if not more. I have been known to spend an hour deciding on the perfect combination of heading size and style – to bold or not to bold, that is the question! You know, it’s never the right time to start, or maybe that last episode of South Park will be the only one ever to not be repeated a million times so you just HAVE TO watch it now. The stress and guilt just keep getting worse and worse, and when you run out of excuses you may just pretend the whole thing doesn’t exist… a blog? Nope, never heard of it before. When I was selected as a participating travel blogger to win an amazing trip with other bloggers through Kerala Tourism I just let it slide right past me, stunned still by the what ifs and no I can’t’s.
A whole bunch of excuses.
My need for perfection stems from a combination of unhealthily high standards, fear and OCD. A little bit of a ‘perfectionator’ as I like to say. I don’t want to write something you guys don’t like – what if you tell all your friends and then I sit alone at lunch? Seriously though. The mental pressure to perform weighed down on my entire being, it felt like all the creativity inside of me- all the words that sang and danced so naturally in thought- being stifled and shoved right back down my throat. And it sucked. Because I love writing.
And therein lies the rub.
Of course I’m going to feel like I’m bat-shit crazy and can’t drop a single letter on a page. You can’t take something you love, and then carry on doing it purely for the reaction of someone else. You shouldn’t validate yourself by the amount of likes your post gets if writing it was what made it fun in the first place. Don’t have kittens if you’re stats are down and STOP CHECKING YOUR HIT COUNTER EVERY 5 MINUTES!
I'm shouting at myself here, though should any of you require it, you can act like it's aimed at you too.
So, in the light of this introspection into my abysmal amount of posts to experiences ratio I have decided to do my best to abandon all
hope external motivations for my blog, and push into 2015 in full force, blog a’blazing. This is not to say when I write it’s just for me – that’s what your diary is for. I will be writing for me (because I love it and if I don’t explosive pressure levels are reached) and for you, on the other side of this screen reading it, in the hopes that I can help you, inspire you, or just make you smile.
Anyone interested in reading a rather relevant piece about the “procrastination and perfectionism” should click here now. Really informative with great practical advice to boot.