Welcome to Day 9 of a 31 day challenge to write 500 words or more. For more on that click here: goinswriter.com
I just started writing.
I had to because I’ve been sitting here staring at my computer screen wondering what to write about which is defeating the purpose of this whole exercise.
The point is write . . . just write . . . don’t overthink it.
I had to sit and think about that for a while. I’m better now.
I am evidently an overthinker. I also think I might be a sloppy perfectionist which completely breaks my stereotype of what a good perfectionist should be. In my brain a perfectionist is Type A. Neat and tidy. Everything lined up and in order. Everything well planned out. Everything executed with timely precision. Everything . . . well . . . perfect.
That’s not me so clearly I can’t be a perfectionist.
I recently heard a quote though that blew the whole thing open for me.
“Perfectionism leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis.”
That . . . is me.
That is me staring at a computer screen, afraid to just start typing. Worried that it won’t be perfect. Paralyzed. That is me searching for hours for the right picture to perfectly illustrate a blog post and never surrendering to the truth that it just doesn’t matter that much. That is me waiting weeks between posts. That is me having a great idea, getting excited about it, making notes, doing research, writing three paragraphs and saying, “meh, this is stupid.” That is me saying for years, “I’ve started writing a book” and never finishing one.
I’ve got multiple unfinished books.
My favorite is “It Helps if They Think You’re Stupid.”
I love it. I love the concept. I love what it breaks open about living cross culturally.
And the first chapter is fabulous. I have read it to multiple audiences and it always gets a great reaction . . . except once and I actually changed it because someone was offended.
But it is a chapter doomed to stay single and paralyzed because I can’t quite get the next 12 chapters perfect.
I think I need to get better at doing things poorly. I need to be alright with putting something out there that might not be life changing or influential or even thought provoking.
I need to sit down and just start writing.
I can feel the tension in my chest just thinking about it though. What if people don’t like it? What if people stop reading everything because not everything is helpful?
I overplay the consequences in my head. Here’s a test.
What if I stopped writing my 500 words today at 436 words?