You can’t fill from an empty cup.
This is something I absolutely know to be true. Yet, I’ve been running on empty for the last few weeks. I don’t think I truly understood how much writing daily would actually effect my emotions. Not only am I contending with external criticism, but I’m also beating myself up for not conveying things perfectly or writing enough. Of course. I’m a perfectionist at heart and if I give myself a project with a daily to-do there’s a high likely hood I’ll do it, but kick myself a lot in the process.
I have been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. It started with my handwriting, which has always been messy. I struggled for years to perfect it in someway, rewriting my notes after school and typing whenever I had the option. Only recently, have I noticed how much of me comes out in my handwriting, how forgiving it is, making a clear mark on the page: I was here.
I’ve often joked about being “such a perfectionist,” however it really feels like no laughing matter when you’re constantly checking and rechecking your work and it keeps me from pursing creative projects I’d otherwise jump at. For example, I’ve always wanted to keep a bullet journal, but within a few weeks I find myself agonizing over my handwriting, unable to continue.
My artwork is to important to me, so I just work through my periods of perfectionism by promising myself I can always make something new and start over again. In art, all mistakes seem fixable. In life, not so much.
Writing allows me freedom from perfectionism when I allow it to. When I fall into my writing rhythm, I sink below the surface and leave everything on the page. I know I love something I’ve written, when within minutes I’m reading it allowed to myself, in awe that this is an art form I can do daily. Other days feel like pulling teeth…I write, I check my word count, I delete three sentences, I write again. The point for me now is to keep going. In periods of depression, I’ve learned to recall happier days. I know I’ve been there and therefore I know they exist. I know where I am right now isn’t permanent. In my writing, I try to think the same way. Writer’s block is an opportunity to get more creative or get creative differently. Perfectionism can be a friend…if only to show me who is on my team: confidence, kindness, truth to name a few.