“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” Anne Lammott, Bird By Bird
I wish I had started letting this sink in a long time ago. The truth about why I have for so long neglected writing is absolutely what Anne says it is; I’m afraid. I’m afraid of mis-illustrating my day. When you’re painting a picture with words, there’s absolutely no limit to the details you could include. I will never capture it all, but if I want to at least capture the spirit of it all, I’m going to need a lot more practice than what I have had. I also really need to keep my eyes on my own path. I lose my footing, I lose my love of the journey, when I spend too much time looking around at what others are doing. I suppose I must, at least for a time, insist on a level of removal from others that is necessary in order for me to be free from comparison, free from the distraction, free to find out what I need to say, give, make. What’s true to me exclusively and not me in relation to what I perceive about others. I hate that sometimes it’s so hard for me to appreciate what others are doing, to become genuinely inspired, and then to move on without insecurities flaring up and immobilizing me, or feeling like my raw ideas are somehow adulterated by the influence of others. I so want to be in the habit of putting all that behind me and having a willingness of heart to find rest in God, to every fiber of my being to surrender to how He plans to shape me in his hands for works he has planned.