You know how when you have too much to do, sometimes you can do absolutely nothing? Or when you don’t think you can do something as well as you expect of yourself, you don’t even try? The whole “done is better than perfect” idea is so much easier to encourage others with than to put into practice on your own.
Why IS that?!
I remember having a manager tell me once that I did not have to do A+ work. She used to tell me just do it well enough to get the job done. Do good work – but it wasn’t necessary to do perfect work.
In college, I majored in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. I loved writing for my creative classes. Whenever I’m digging around in an old box and come across my writing from college, it is so fun to read.
Some I remember writing, some I don’t.
Sometimes I’m like “WOW! I can’t believe I WROTE that!” <fist pump>.
Other times I’m like “Wow. I can’t BELIEVE I wrote THAT...?” <grimace>.
When I was younger I tried to journal, but it really isn’t for me. Honestly, they were always more like “dear diary” type of writing. Reading them now is weird. They are sort of hysterically, horrifically, angsty and sad.
Writing with something to actually SAY is a whole different thing!
For years I have wanted to write a blog. Even back before blogging was the blogging it is today, I had several on topics ranging from travel to searching for a love and of course, about the boys.
When I started this one, I thought I was finally writing the blog I was meant to write.
However, I got bogged down with the technical aspects of creating the website, as well as in all the courses and ebooks and information out there in the blogging world.
It is very interesting…but it is SO much information.
And with information overload comes inconsistency. I actually have quite a bit written – and a long list of things to write – but getting them PERFECT for posting has been next to impossible.
So I don’t post what I write.
That is why my December self-challenge is to write something EVERY day of the month on the blog. No matter what it is about or how ready or non-ready I feel it is – just click the damn Publish button!
Ten years or so ago I created a vision board. I still have it. Here it is actually:
(The Great Wall of China used to be on the upper left – not sure where that picture went. But now that I’m looking at it, I think I need to write something else about the other things on it – especially the things that I have now done!)
Anyway. In the upper right, you can see that I had two books in my head at the time that I wanted to write, so I created images of book covers for them and put them on my vision board.
More Life, More Books
Since that time, more life has happened, as it does, so more books have come to my head.
While I still have the two vision board books bouncing around my head, the most important one I would like to get done is one I began seven years ago. It’s a memoir about my unique journey to have my boys. I have nine chapters written – all written before I actually had the boys.
Unfortunately, I stopped writing when I got to the point in the story that was a true tragedy for me at the time. Now that the boys are older and I get slightly more sleep than I did for the first four years of their lives, I pick it up, reread it and think about finishing it.
FINISH THE BOOK!
Restarting something you were writing seven years ago is not easy. Your voice changes. And sometimes the story leaves you completely.
Aside: Have you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert?
Elizabeth tells an incredible story about a novel she started writing that she had to put on hold, and when she went back to it, the story had left her. She later was talking with a friend, whom she met during the “hold”, but whom she had not shared the story of the novel she was writing. She told the friend about the idea for the story that had left her, and it turned out, her friend was writing that exact story at that time. The idea had been passed from Elizabeth to her friend when they met during the “hold”. It is really unbelievable!
Anyway, I am committed to finishing my book. There are people like me, in the world, who need to read it the same way I needed to read it when I was going through it (and it didn’t exist).
Finding the Balance
Finding a balance between holding myself accountable and giving myself some grace is tough.
On the one hand, I’m a working single mom of twin boys. I gotta pay the bills and feed the small people. So my self-talk leans toward “give yourself a break, you can’t do it all. Have another Oreo. You deserve it!”
On the other hand, the critic in me says “if you really want something, only you can make it happen. You just don’t want it enough. Your “why” isn’t big enough.” BLAH BLAH BLAH
That battling chatter in my brain leads me to inertia.
Starter or Finisher?
I set out to try to figure out how to DO what I want to DO – and I guess to figure out WHAT I want to DO.
It seems that I am both a NON-starter and a NON-finisher. How can you be both, you ask?
Well, I have just finished listening to two audiobooks that seriously spoke to me about this. Both books are by Jon Acuff – one is called START, and the other is called FINISH.
These books have catapulted my mindset on perfectionism, on starting things, and REALLY on finishing things.
I often say that people do what serves them. When it doesn’t serve them any longer, they do something different.
If you have unfinished projects, unstarted projects, if you’ve started and quick any projects – I HIGHLY recommend Jon Acuff. He’s funny, interesting, and spot on in so many ways.
I also would recommend Big Magic. All three of these books are terrific for anyone procrastinating anything! They have really changed the way I am looking at things!
Note: I may add to this later, but I am tired! So I’m going to hit publish to get it posted today, and may revisit in the morning!
Day 4 – December goal: Post something every day of the month!
Boom! Not perfect. But done!
YES! Finish the book!!!!
4 for 4 on your challenge. AWESOME.