This has been a huge mindset shift for me. It’s taken a lot of years but once I embraced it, the world opened up.
I didn’t know what it is exactly that has changed, I just know that in the last few months, my fear became the annoying buzz of a mosquito in a dark room instead of the roaring dinosaur it used to be. I found I was taking chances, putting more of my work out there and really embracing the learning of this wonderful writer’s craft.
Turns out, all these blocks I had in place came down to one thing … the misconception of perfectionism.
Fear of not being perfect at something stopped be from trying at all. I didn’t want to attempt something and realise I was BAD at it, worst of all let other people know that I was BAD at new things, any things. But like everything, to get good you have to start by being bad.
This isn’t an easy thing. If you struggle with the fear of criticism for your less than perfect wonderful self, this is a HUGE hill to climb.
I am sure there will be times where it rears its ugly head again. I’d like to think I have overcoming it once and for all, but that’s not usually how these things work. And that too is OK.
At the start of April a friend reached out, a friend who always signs up for NaNoWriMo with me most years and bails within the first week, and told me about escapril. A poetry daily challenge for April. I know as little as six months ago I would have balked at considering this challenge. Putting my writing out there every single day for a whole month … writing a poem every day to a prompt? No thanks. It’s one thing to do NaNoWriMo and input the word count you’ve done that day … but it’s an entirely different thing to put the actual words you’ve written out there.
Turns out, I’ve gotten a lot better at being bad.
And it turns out some of the poems aren’t too shabby. And each day that I manage to do the goal, I feel a little more confident in trying. A little more OK to be bad.
If you’re interested in checking out the prompted poetry of Escapril you can find them on my instagram account neenauthor.
Do you struggle with perfectionism?
Have you pushed yourself and found a way to accept being bad at something?
I’d love to know