I’m struggling to begin here because nothing I write seems good enough, which is exactly the reason I’m writing this. I’m a perfectionist.
I hate the word “perfectionist” because it implies that there is some relationship between the sufferer and the results of their suffering. As if the “higher” standard of the perfectionist means she does things well.
Maybe that’s true for other perfectionists, but it isn’t for me. So much of what I do doesn’t seem good enough because it isn’t; meaning, it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for adequacy. Perfectionism only means that I feel bad about everything I do, and everything that I am, regardless of where it lands on the scale of acceptability.
So, I’m writing about perfectionism (EDIT: I’ve switched from calling this perfectionism to calling it validation, which feels much more accurate) learn how to be ok with that, and I’m barely breathing as I write this, right now, because I’m not allowing myself to research blog entries to review the best way to write a blog entry. I’m also not planning to write a rough draft first and then mercilessly edit it until reaches an acceptable balance between value and entertainment. I’m sorry to anyone reading, but that’s the way it has to be.
This is what I am going to do:
1. Post here only when I feel like it, but prod myself to be consistent.
2. Avoid unhealthy comparison. I believe the human mind can’t help but to draw comparisons, but there are ways to do it that help rather than harm.
3. Edit minimally.
4. Be flexible with my content and how it is presented.
5. By the way, if it isn’t obvious, this is a diary-style blog.
Before I move on, I’d like to talk about why I’m doing this now.
I spent the past five years or so working on a memoir that’s had a few incarnations. About two years ago, I thought I was done with it, but I really only had a first draft. I was a new writer, I had no guidance, and when I reached out to readers, agents, etc., I learned that I still had a lot of work to do. That was pretty hard because I’d already done so much work, and I didn’t relish the idea of doing a bunch more. But, I did, and two years have passed, and now I’m back in the same seat, but the ride hasn’t quite started up, yet. Since I’m at this stage of the process, I have the energy and focus to start this blog.
I was originally inspired to blog a few months ago by Cait Flanders. She wrote a book called The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store. Before that, she was a personal finance blogger, but she took her blog down before I knew anything about it.
I liked her audiobook so much that I listened to it twice in a row. What she writes about and what I write about are completely different, but I liked her approach. She sincerely worked on herself and was honest about the process. In a way, a blog is something like a mini-living memoir, and reading Cait Flanders helped me make that connection.
So, here we are. Happy first entry to me. Welcome to anyone reading.