Sunday, November 28, 2004

Not Good Enough…or in other 'words', a perfectionist

I have had so many responses to my last blog on writing. The comments and emails continue to flow. And for those who wrote to tell me they’re taking up writing, to create, heal, share, whatever the reason or goal, BRAVO!

I was trying to combine the topic of writing and being a perfectionist in one entry. I know I’ve written about perfectionism in the past but not how it stands in the way of expressing oneself in a creative mode. Ideas ebb and flow beneath the surface. Our creativity is there if we only tap into it. That translates itself into all sorts of modes….writing, music, painting….any of the arts for that matter. If you speak to some artists, they’ll tell you they start with an idea and let it take form as they work. Very often they don’t have any idea how the work will end up. They know it when they get there.

Writing is usually a bit different…a way of creating pictures in one’s mind, sharing ideas, concepts, images….a journey of sorts with the author to guide you. It’s when that author needs to keep tweaking it making it just so, that it has to be ‘professional’ where the blockage begins. For the perfectionist, there’s always something to improve, to add. And instead of making a work better, what it does is tell us we’ll never be good enough, that we should try harder, work longer. It’s more about the process of writing than the words that fly across the page.

So, for you perfectionists out there who really do want to share what’s in their minds and hearts….take a piece of paper. Put one idea in the centre of it. Perfect grammar is not allowed. Just words that stimulate, make you want to write more words. And write them down like spokes of a wheel, wrapping around your original word. No writing on lines, within margins. It’s time to scrap conventionality and to have some fun with all those pent-up ideas. Is an article emerging? A book perhaps? Something comical about how you feel about writing itself? If you keep fixing it, you’ll lose sight of the bigger picture. And this picture is just about writing…ideas…insights. The joy of writing. Period.

For those of you who are really daring, try this blog One word…so little time. You choose one of the words on the screen and have seconds in which to write about it. No time for fixing, changing, spell checks. Just time for writing. Go for it! Anything to nudge that creative door open a little bit more.

Writing in any form is not about conjuring up the perfect idea or story. It’s about getting it down. The best part of blogging for me is to start with an idea and create dialogue around it. If I’d waited to share the perfect idea, concept or notion, you’d see an empty screen and that wouldn’t have benefited anyone including myself.

Besides which, the way I look at it, how I share an idea in words is one way to look at that idea. Just as with the spoken word, it changes with interpretation and as others read it and see a side of them in it, the idea continues to grow, to morph and before I know it, I has become something else entirely. The fun part is when I can take that new perspective and weave it into the original idea. Coming full circle.

What one word gets your creative juices flowing? I’d love to hear, and whether or not you created something with it.

Best! (look ‘best’ up on the visual thesaurus and see what happens!)
Donna Karlin

No comments: