I woke this morning to gray skies, cold winds, and a feeling of redundancy. Like the movie, Groundhog Day, it’s as if every day is the same. Wake up, have tea, hit the computer, edit. Edit some more. See if there’s something in the fridge. Eat a PB&J, edit again.
I am in pursuit of perfection.
I will never attain it.
I have to try.
Craig McBreen wrote a good post today on being remarkable. He says, “Many people out there think: ‘I’ll create something remarkable (there’s that word again) and they will come.’”
I won’t tell you where he goes from there. You’ll have to read it for yourselves. Suffice it to say, I agree with him and it’s down right daunting to do the work necessary to achieve your dreams. I know. I did it once and now I’m doing it again, because just achieving one dream isn’t enough.
Creatives can’t settle. Which means they often quit before they’ve even gotten started.
Fear of not being good enough is paralyzing. There is a point (and I expect you to hold me to it) when a work is as good as it’s ever going to be. Then, you have stop, let it go, take a break, and start the next one. It’s the only way we actually make the dream a reality. It is the accumulation, via multiple works, of skill, finesse, and courage that culminate in unique voice and marked achievement.
People always talk about the overnight successes. What they don’t realize is that those successes took twenty years (or five, or ten). All the things that happened while no-one was watching are the things that drive the achievement. And those one-hit-wonders? They’re like lottery winners. Because they didn’t do the work, most don’t have the skills, savvy, or emotional maturity to stay in the game. By the time the money’s gone, they’re right back where they started.
To ensure I don’t get caught up in the tangle of “great,” I’ve set a goal for myself. The novel will be released by summer. No matter what. Yesterday, I finished Part 1. The other six parts are almost there and I will go through each of them carefully, just to make sure they are as good as I can make them RIGHT NOW. I know that next year, or the year after, I’ll look back at this work and smile. I’ll see all the things I didn’t know when I finished it. That’s as it should be because it means I’ve moved on, kept going, and added new skills to my arsenal.
How about you? Do you have a project you’ve been working on too long? Are you afraid of not being good enough? Does that fear stop you from starting or stopping? Let me know. I love your comments.