I sometimes find myself wanting to write and I already have a thought in mind, an insight, an opinion, or something else along those lines. I roll with it, start writing, and… it doesn’t come out right. Then I try to fix it. I play with the words, rearranging, shuffling the flow of it around, and ultimately over-analyzing. Usually I keep going around in circles until I’ve had enough. At that point I decide to leave it alone for a while and come back to it later.
Fresh eyes, some distance from it… you know, gain some perspective. It’s maddening though, when I come back to drafts and notes over and over only to be stuck in the same cycle of dissatisfaction.
That’s when I really start to get pissed with myself.
The self loathing starts to creep in which, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the pressure can only build so much before it finds a way out… and to great effect most of the time. It’s just… it always seems like a continuation of my habitual inconsistency and unreliability. A sacrifice of quantity for the sake of quality and I end up relying on whatever talent I have, all the while failing to build much momentum.
In the long run I think that limits the quantity of quality work I can put out there. There’s a saying I keep thinking of that relates well to what I’m saying here…
“If you are not willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you.”
It seems like I remember that coming from someone else, but whatever.
*shrugs* I’m a fan of the show anyways.
The point is, that’s all there is to it. I know it, and on some level so do you. That’s about the only answer I have for it. To throw caution to the wind and take any residual insecurities, fears, or doubts for a bit of a ride. It’s one of the only ways I know to cause a lull in the frustration and self loathing; prove it wrong. Bite the bullet and put yourself out there. Pull the trigger and see what happens. Let the chips fall where they may.
It’s only a temporary respite, but…
As far as I know it’s just about the only one there is. I kind of forget that from time to time, caught up in my own over-thinking and perfectionist tendencies, but I know from firsthand experience that it works. It’s effective, and the only other alternative doesn’t really seem worth living for so when I realize I’m sabotaging myself… most of the time I try to fix it. Oddly enough, sometimes I do that by talking about it, writing it out (e.g. this post).
(Originally posted here on May 16th, 2014)