Today is one of my migraine days. I am fortunate that they are far less severe in the past couple of years than they used to be. Past migraines have had me in bed for three days at a time as I struggled simply to breathe without inducing pain. Nowadays, I can function through them much of the time. Today is one of those [better] days. On days like today, my food choices involve eating healthy. Bananas and other fresh fruit seem to be things my body craves. And water, lots of water. I also drink Hibiscus tea, which is filled with Vitamin C and antioxidants…and it’s supposed to be helpful in reducing blood pressure. That can’t hurt a migraine, eh? (I write all of this as I absent-mindedly shove handfuls of Boom Chicka Pop Cheddar Cheese Popcorn in my face…sigh…I really have had a lot of fruit and tea and water today. I swear!)
Writing and Perfectionism
It is late in the day and I am finally feeling up to writing. I’ve had trouble posting here for months. Why? I imagine it boils down to perfection. Either I do not feel as if I have things worthy enough to post, or I feel as if they are not “just right” so I chose not to post anything.
Perfectionism is a bitch. It seems I’ve made her my bitch.
I have a friend who makes a career writing. She blogs, she writes articles for both local and national venues, and she travels for much of the material in her pieces. I have been living vicariously through her for years. All of this is because I don’t trust that what I have to offer is something others are remotely interested in reading. Who am I to post drivel about my food experiences – my life experiences – when there are others out there far more knowledgeable and interesting and adept at doing so? So I silently follow her, imagining myself doing the things she does. I realize the writing world involves very little “J.K. Rowling” and much more “everyday Joe Schmo” but that makes me no less eager to be a part of it. There is a bit of glamor to the everydayness of it.
The past 2-3 years I have battled to get my work on paper. How hard can it be to put a few [thousand] words on the page? Have you ever read an article or a book and thought, “Wow, I could have written that! And better.”?? I’ve had that thought during many a reading. Guess what? It’s not so simple, and certainly not as easy as it often seems. I’ve come to admire those ‘terrible’ writers. They have something I still seek: courage. They put their work out there despite their self doubt, which I am certain they have. I am positive it is what lies behind my perfectionism.
Self-doubt can be crippling. Paralyzing. To my right is this voice telling me to “Go for it, Life is short…Post. Write. Live your dreams!” Then a voice to my left whispers, “You are not good enough. You need to do this more, make that better. Wait a while. Give up.” Why does the whispering voice seem to be the louder of the two? What will it take to stand up to it and listen the other one?
I suppose it comes down to jumping in; trusting – mainly myself. Trust is difficult for me. So here is where I am today: I have been back at work on a novel I began two years ago. I even enrolled in a writing course downtown. I’ve been cooking more. This has also been an area of slowness for me; hence another reason [excuse] for not posting. Anyone out there reading this, bear with me. I have no idea what will come out during this next month of daily postings.