I have talked with people about the downsides of perfectionism. Desiring to create a high-quality product isn’t the issue, it’s when perfectionism hinders production that issues arise. Last week a friend proposed to me that, in its simplest form, perfectionism is procrastination. My knee-jerk response was chocked full of objections:
What if what I’m working on isn’t complete? Well then, what’s stopping you from completing it?
The plot lines aren’t to my satisfaction. So change them so you DO like them.
There was that threat of the rapture. Seriously! is that your best excuse?
After stewing on his sentiment for a few days, I realized he was absolutely right—Damn him. So, with that in mind it’s time to cut the shit. Enough making excuses. How does that relate to Personal Convictions, you might ask? As implied, I’ve been making excuses for why the story doesn’t meet my level of perfection. Here’s the problem: perfection is a moving target. I re-read earlier chapters of my story, and I’m not happy with them. When I wrote them I thought they were great, but six months has passed and I’m thinking, ‘God, did I seriously write that shit?’
Writing is progressive. If someone’s writing with the same skill they possessed twelve months earlier, they’re doing something wrong. For me to expect something I write today to be equally profound a year from now is ludicrous. So, it’s wise to lower my expectations. Writing is supposed to capture a feeling, a mood. Living with regret or trying to hone something to perfection is, I’d dare say, impossible.
The title of this entry is “Seize the Night” for a reason, though I’ve not yet correlated why. The past has proven that I do my best writing in the evening, between the hours of ten and one. Like many other areas of my life, I’ve made excuses why I haven’t written: the mood isn’t right, I’m tired, I’d rather scroll through my tumblr dash, etc. Again, it’s time to cut the shit and get some writing done. I’m making it a goal to sit down and write this week. I know I don’t do well without structure, so I’m setting some word count quotas. This is disciplinary, this is for you guys, this is ultimately for me. Carpe Noctem! To completion of Personal Convictions, and the start of more literary works in the near future.