On Being a Sloppy Perfectionist: 500 Words | Day 9

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 overthink.

I overplay the consequences in my head.  Here’s a test.

What if I stopped writing my 500 words today at 436 words?




Sign up below to get "99 QUESTIONS FOR GLOBAL FRIENDS" along with updates from The Culture Blend (and ZERO SPAM).

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: