Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Artist's Way: Week Seven, Post Two

Hi, my name is Liz, and I am a perfectionist.

I have always been a perfectionist.

In fact, if I feel that I can’t do something perfectly, I will not try it (or I will pretend I don’t care enough to try it).

I have always known that perfectionism was one of my flaws, but I thought it was a noble one. After all, why do something if you can’t do it well?

Here’s what Julia has to say about it:

“Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead” (p. 119).
“For the perfectionist, there are no first drafts, rough sketches, warm-up exercises. Every draft is meant to be final, perfect, set in stone” (p. 120).
Now, here’s the clincher:

“To the perfectionist, there is always room for improvement. The perfectionist calls this humility. In reality, it is egotism. It is pride that makes us want to write a perfect script, paint a perfect painting, perform a perfect audition monologue.

Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough—that we should try again.

No. We should not” (p. 120).

Perfectionism = Pride

Wow, right? This blew my mind!

I’ve been struggling with my perfectionism all month. Between the Art Every Day challenge and NaNoWriMo, I’ve had to face my fear of imperfection head on, and with occasional tears.

Some of the stuff I’ve written in my novel is horrible!

Some of the ATC’s I’ve created are, well, ugly/plain/weird!

But, I’ve kept at it. I’ve posted the picture no matter how I felt about the ATC. And I’ve kept every stupid, boring, and trite word I’ve written.

Is perfectionism behind me? Hardly. But, this month, I’ve been able to push it a little farther away from me. And that’s a start.

Now, two questions for you: Is perfectionism blocking the way to your creativity? And if so, will you let it go?

UP NEXT: Week Seven Exercises and why one made me cry…

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