In Pursuit of Perfection

Looking through my emails I can see that I set up The Write Site on the 10th of February, the date of my, and the, first post. I haven’t posted again since.

In part that’s because I’ve been busy. Busy with coursework for uni. Busy with trying to write a chapter a month for Achieving December and busy with actual, bringing the pennies in, work. But, as real as all of those things are and have been, they are excuses. I don’t have an audience yet so they are excuses I’ve been telling myself, (and my loving and very patient girlfriend), but they are still excuses. The real reason I haven’t posted anything is because I haven’t felt anything is good enough. This is the same reason I have always given up or put off ideas for stories. “I don’t want to write it until I’m ready. Until I can do it justice.” A phrase I have said far too often. All this has meant is that I didn’t write anything. How am I ever going to be “ready” if I don’t write anything? I’m not going to wake up one morning suddenly able to craft perfect sentence after perfect sentence.

But this year I have been writing. I haven’t put it off. Despite all the things I’ve been busy with, I have completed a solid first draft of three chapters. I’m even quite pleased with them. My intention was to put one of these up on this site. But they aren’t finished yet. So I haven’t. Even with a readership of one, (thank you once again loving and patient girlfriend), the idea of putting something out into the world that even I can still see problems with, is completely terrifying. I’m constantly pursuing perfection.

Of course, everyone knows this doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t stop my brain thinking it is the only acceptable standard. Which is why I’m writing this. This is draft one of one. It will not be perfect. It will be published.

In my first post I wrote:

I am going to try and publish something at least once a month to start, but I hope to increase the amount as time goes on.

That was too ambitious, I was aiming for too little. If my goal is to only put one thing up every month, there is an expectation that it will be something of a high standard. As has transpired, this is a standard I will never feel my writing meets, so I won’t post anything. Instead I’m going to aim for twice a week. It might be too much, it might still be too little, but either way I’m hoping it will take some of the pressure off. This isn’t to say that I’ll post any old crap, just that I won’t be as concerned about crafting every syllable.

My writing is worse because I’ve been so intent on it being just right. By allowing myself to be wrong a bit more often, hopefully I’ll write more. This might even mean I get a bit closer to that perfection I’ve been pursuing. What I’ve learnt though, is it doesn’t matter if I don’t.


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