I’ve been on a roller coaster ride with the level of commitment to this website over the past few years. I created it because I wanted to build a resource for perfectionists. A place where people could find the tools to get over their creative blocks and negative self-talk. But as a perfectionist myself, I often got in my way. I cared deeply about the website and had many ideas and projects for the site that littered my walls on chart paper and post-it notes, but it often felt easier to pretend like I didn’t care over facing my fears of criticism and rejection.
Nothing ever felt good enough to share. It felt like everyone had said all the things that I have to say. Nothing felt original. It felt like a waste of time. I thought that no one would find it useful. I was afraid to share my voice.
When I began sharing my photography a few years ago, I went through the same narrative, but through a practice of sharing one photo a day, I built confidence. I went from feeling like an imposter photographer, hiding behind the safety net of social media, to calling myself a photographer to the people in my life. It took months, but slowly, by sharing a photo one day at a time, I’ve grown a portfolio that I’m proud of.
A little over a week ago, I committed to doing the same with my writing. I will share one piece of writing every day, either here at The Imperfectionist or on my personal site, where I write about photography, nature, environment, reading, and books.
And still to this day, with both my photography and my writing, nothing ever feels good enough. But I made the commitment, and I allow the momentum of the obligation I made carry me forward. Some days, the writing and photography is better than others, and some days, it feels really, really hard. But when I ask myself, “what’s the worst that can happen?” The answer isn’t that bad.
So if you commit to sharing something daily (or weekly, or whatever you have the time for), you will find that the momentum can carry you past your perfectionism and resistance. Seth Godin has been blogging daily for years:
“There’s a fundamental difference between the things you do every day, every single day, and the things you do only when the spirit moves you.
One difference is that once you’ve committed to doing something daily, you find that the spirit moves you, daily.
Rather than having a daily debate about today’s agenda, you can decide once that you will do something, and then decide every single day how to do it.”
As perfectionists, it’s one of the best things that we can do for our creativity. Things will never feel good enough, but then again, nothing will ever be good enough if you don’t try.