Why Perfectionism is the Sickness of the Lazy

Come on Meiji, you have to write something.

Dude, your plan was one post per week right? What’s happening? You’re already FIVE weeks behind!

Now, THAT is something every blogger does not wish for in their dreams. Most especially for those pro ones. It makes me shudder just to think of someone who’s so serious into blogging and doing, exactly just that.

Yes, that may sound unreal. I mean out of a month and three weeks into blogging, I have only produced three posts. So yes, that second paragraph was a summary of how blogging started for me.

Back then, I even wanted to have a special feature for June 28 since it marks my first ‘monthsary’ in this commitment called blogging where you learn to love it while it never gives you back your love.

Hmm, well, there goes my plan since it’s already July for goodness’ sake!

You may be asking, what happened to me? After all those blog posts about the heart vs. the mind and then following your dreams, one would think that I must have it all so easy for me.

Welp, no, not at all.

Before I have posted my third post about the sentence that changed me and my shy personality, I have come to a serious writer’s block.

There were been times when I can’t choose between two or three different adjectives that I get so frustrated (which can be a form of writer’s block too), and then there are those times like the one I just had.

If those blocks had levels, mine would be the boss level times the hardness of writing raised to the power of a million. Exaggerated much? Just a little.

Well, here’s what happened: I started the introduction in a computer shop (just because I thought a change of environment might help, and maybe it did help a little) but after just five paragraphs, I stopped because I couldn’t go on anymore. Yes, only five, and those paragraphs barely made it to ten sentences.

The same went for my other stories that I was finally starting to write. I didn’t even understand why I didn’t want to write, only just that I keep telling myself I don’t know what to write yet for the scene.

I wasn’t even willing to write something I actually know.

The best thing for me to do during those times was to examine myself and learn what was causing them right?

Now I know that was what I should’ve done but never did, and now, I have to pay for it by thinking of all those precious moments wasted not creating something, words and voices that might live on even if I’m not there to represent the human being who once thought of them.

I’m over it already (too fast, I’ve contemplated, don’t worry, I’m not that impulsive) because I’ve told myself that I’ll do better this time.

But before that happened, I thankfully, finally, knew why, rather, what happened during those times that I kept telling myself I’ll take the day off and just resume the next day but never do.

Besides the rainy weather, the thought of not writing for so long makes me shiver again.

What happened then? Perfectionism.

Every time I opened my laptop to write the next part of my ultra, super, fantastic novels (just kidding!) I read the last line I have written and when my hands hover over the keyboard, I suddenly take them back because I don’t seem to know what to write next.

I believe in the power of a good outline yet I don’t make them as detailed because I just love writing without restrictions and the epiphany-like feeling I get when I suddenly think of a million hidden other possibilities I could never have thought of if I kept a strict outline.

So let’s cross it out, no, it’s not the lack of an outline that has stopped me but rather, the disease of perfectionism that has no symptoms until you recognize it’s there.

How did I comprehend this?

When I finally asked myself what the hell was wrong, it was then that I realized I wanted to write but was afraid of writing something incorrectly. You might be thinking, that’s what’s editing is for stupid.

Yes, it is there for a reason, but I didn’t see that when I was still under the fear. I stopped writing that blog post in the computer shop because I was still thinking on what path I should take for that post.

I was telling myself, if I get this wrong the first time around, sure I could edit it later, but if I could write it in a single sitting once I finally figure it out for at least more than fifty percent, that would save me so much time from editing.

Now I see the irony of how saving time from editing really did come true. This blog post didn’t have to go through any extensive editing because the words just came from deep inside.

Lucky, right? I guess we all have those rare moments.

Yet because of waiting for something that could have never happened until I realized there was something wrong in my way of thinking during that time, I have wasted so much golden time waiting for the words that will save me from the process of editing.

The kind of editing I’m talking about is the editing for the story itself because editing little errors in grammar and typos is automatic for me, and so, I wanted to avoid the first type of editing.

After I realized that the root of my wasted time is perfectionism, I later saw a picture on my Facebook feed wherein the text challenged me to make mistakes because part of the fun of this life is making mistakes so that we can learn.

Now I tell you this too, make mistakes in writing. There’s no such thing as perfect writing, only the work you give your best in is what matters.

If we will only wait for those rare times in our life when we are so inspired that we get to write all these brilliantly constructed string of words that has managed to tug at the deepest parts of our hearts, we will never learn anything that will help us do it again during those days that we just want to bolt out of our chairs to escape writing.

One time, I heard a famous actress-slash-singer who was judging a singing contest tell the competitor that it was alright to lose. When we win, we win, period. But when we don’t win, we don’t lose, we simply learn.

And now I’d like to think that everything happens for a reason.

Even though I have lost one of the most important things in this life which is called ‘time,’ I understand that until I have learned the lesson which I also told you now about perfectionism, I will only have wasted more time in the future.

I might have not won that five weeks with even ten pages of the writings of my soul we call writing, still, I haven’t lost because now, I have learned something new. Something that I know will help me in my life, whatever walk I take in this life.

It’s Your Turn:

Have you ever experienced writer’s block too? If so, how did, or maybe, how do you deal with it? I would love to hear your take on this, after all, we give and take, don’t we? Come on, don’t keep the wisdom you possess to yourself, share them in the comments below.

You just might help somebody else who needs to hear it, aka me, or some other person who would be really grateful for your words. The comment box is waiting for you, why not give it a chance?

Remember, we either win or we learn.

See you next Saturday, friends!

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