constructive rest

a creative journey


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my inner perfectionist…

Regardless of profession or personality, I believe that everyone aspires to do their very best; but what happens when we hit a wall regarding our ideas, motivation, or creativity?  I am a firm believer that my inner critic, aka, my inner perfectionist, regularly quashes my creativity.  It sends me on a wild goose chase and distracts me from my best ideas.  Being able to silence my inner perfectionist helps me tap into a creative mind-space that enhances my motivation, my passion, and my life.

Breaking out takes consciousness – hardly ever do I notice I am here until after the fact.  It also requires help from people who understand and agree that being a creative perfectionist is like driving a car using square wheels – it just won’t work.

Drawing your self-portrait or writing with the opposite hand will only take you so far.  These are prescribed methods to get you somewhere that you can’t define or acknowledge until you feel it, see it, and live it.  For me, trying new things breaks me out of my inner perfectionist, simply because I don’t know enough yet to over-think everything!  It is hard to be a perfectionist when you are learning along the way.  So when I started taking the online class Blogging from the Heart with Susannah Conway, I immediately started reading one of her suggested books, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.  My experience reading this book is like sitting with a mentor and teacher, being guided by someone who can help me laugh at myself, while giving me the freedom to find my own way.  I like that it doesn’t give us a prescription for “success”, whatever that even means.  It guides us, makes us think, and laugh, and reminds us that there are others out there fighting their inner perfectionist imperfectly each day.

Over the last 3 weeks I have continued to go back to this book again and again for wisdom, insight, and a reminder to enjoy the journey along the way.


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listening to Bird by Bird…

A few days ago, when I started the Blogging from the Heart curriculum, I purchased the audio version of Bird by Bird, by Anne Larnott.  Chapter 1 has made me laugh out loud several times.  I don’t necessarily relate to the “I just want to be published” comments that her students often talk to her about, but I definitely relate to the times she discusses the love she (and many authors) have for books.  I love to hold books, have them around me, and have always had stacks and stacks waiting to be read.  The library was really one of my favorite places growing up, although my grades didn’t demonstrate it.

When I find a book that I want to read, I tend to buy it and put it on my “to read” stack, which on several occasions has gotten out of control.  I now have a “to read” book-case.  It is brimming with ideas and stories.  I love stories and believe they add richness to our lives.  They provide us with lessons, open us up to places in time and around the globe we will never have the opportunity to experience for ourselves.  I can’t imagine a life without stories.

I really like Anne’s suggestions and her take on moving forward, writing every day regardless of your mood or inspiration.  Taking things one step at a time, and not getting overwhelmed with thoughts on what the reader will say, think, or interpret, is freeing.  Having few, if any readers, releases the anxiety a bit.  I like that she can describe writing and reading from a passionate standpoint, and then use some humor to set the reader/listener at ease.

Hearing (literally, in her voice via audio) her thoughts so far about listening to your heart and the why’s of your desire to write was a great beginning to her book.  I have no intention of doing this for a living, getting published, or being discovered.  I don’t want to write the next great American novel or become famous for my wit and prose.  What I do want is to express my feelings on paper (or I should say, on-screen) in order to feel things deeper and tap into my internal dialogue.  I want to see what happens when I let go, not worrying about who will  read this.  I want to watch my writing style and abilities improve over time.  And if along the way I find a unique voice, or tap into something that is worth shouting from the rooftops, great, but I am not holding out hope on that one!

I am working on 1% improvements over time, rather than focusing too much on my end goal.  I am taking it “bird by bird”…..

Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/blmiers2/6803496340/