It’s there when I pull up my WIP and look over what I’ve written. It’s there when I scroll through Instagram and compare everyone’s beautiful photos to mine. It’s there when I write a blog post, wondering if what I say really matters.
The perfectionist monster rules my thoughts, constantly asking me “why is nothing you do ever good enough?” It sits on both shoulders. Whispering. Nagging. Laughing to itself while pityingly shaking its head whenever I attempt something.
You could do better. No one will like this. They like it now but pretty soon they’ll hate it. Why do you even bother? This is terrible, and you know it. You could do better. You could do so much better.
My novel sits mostly unedited on my computer. I set a goal last year to finish editing by April of this year. It is now March. If I tried hard enough, stuck with a goal, and left my family life for a while, I might finish revisions. But then the perfectionist monster would come back:
Why aren’t you spending time with your family? You’re supposed to be the perfect daughter, perfect sister. Selfish and imperfect – that’s what you are.
Nothing I do feels good enough. No, that’s not a cry for pity, for someone out in the internet world to feel sorry for me. It’s a hard-to-swallow truth. Maybe some of you can relate, and that’s why you’re reading this post. Maybe you’re battling your own perfectionist monster. Maybe you want to try something new but believe you won’t be good enough, or maybe you’ve started something already and feel like it’s useless to keep trying even though you want to succeed.
I hold onto that word like it’s a lifeline. Maybe I’ll finish revisions. Maybe an agent will take one long look at my book and adore it. Maybe I’ll get published. Maybe people will like my writing, love my writing, adore my characters with whom I’ve shared a piece of my soul. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
My dreams give me hope. All of those big and little maybes tell me I shouldn’t give up. They help me battle the perfectionist monster, replacing those constant whispers of you’re not good enough with ones of don’t let your fear of being imperfect stop you from pursuing your dreams.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be done.
It’s okay if you don’t feel like what you do is good enough. Any human on this planet has probably felt the same way at some point in their life. I know I have – many, many times. The one thing you have to be sure of is to not let it get you down. Keep trying. Keep doing. Keep pursuing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be something you want to do.