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Perfection

August 29, 2011

I am an artist wannabe.  I picture myself as one of those free-spirited artists with short spiky hair, lots of odd-ball jewelry, loose-fitting bright-colored clothing, nipping a little wine while sharing my artwork with the community and fellow artists…definitely not the typical grandmother type, though I have no issue with being a grandmother. 

I’d be working in a huge, well-lit studio with lots of projects in the works.  Whether it’s a painting, pen-and-ink drawing, illustrating, jewelry-making, even clothing design…I wannabe good at it. 

Therein lays the problem.  I know that I’ve got some rudimentary artistic talent but for some reason just cannot jump-start into this next phase in my life.  I had wanted this last third of my life to be the creative phase.  But I cannot get started.  If I do get started on a project, I can’t seem to finish it. 

I’m not sure what the problem is.  Well, actually, I now think I know what the problem is…just don’t know how to get past it.  I have this issue with everything having to be perfect, and my projects just end up being not so…perfect.  In my head, I know exactly what I want them to look like.  But they don’t end up being ‘just right’…there’s always something wrong with them.  So then I’m reluctant to start over again or to start another project.  I just kind of give up.

So I found another outlet for this stifled creativity…writing!  I told myself it’s easy to start writing (bear with me, please)…just put all those many words and images running around in my head on to the screen through the keyboard.  Save As, and then bring it up later and keep working on it and working on it and working on it and working on it. 

My apologies to all of you real writers out there…I’m just trying to reason this out in my head, okay?  I’m not saying I’m a good writer… only that I’m writing. 

Then this morning I read a piece posted in The Other Side of 55 titled Why I Write.  What an eye-opener it was!  Margo went on to list 47 reasons why she writes.  It’s a wonderful list, and almost all of her reasons could apply to any creative outlet.

So, thank you, Margo.  I’m going to use your reasons for why you write and apply them to doing those paintings and drawings, to making beautiful jewelry and clothing, to express myself in any creative way that I can.

And I’ll try very hard to let go of the need for it all to be perfect.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2011 10:39 pm

    You are a “real” writer. 🙂

    I’m a perfectionist as well and its something I struggle with no matter what I do. I want to be perfect at my job, I want every piece I write to be perfect, and project I make to be perfect . . . the list goes on and on.

    Over the last few years, I’ve been trying very hard to let and simply let my creativity be what it is. And to let my writing be what it wants to be. It’s never perfect, but I’m enjoying the process a lot more.

    • August 29, 2011 11:13 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. I think, as most of us know in our heads but find it difficult to accept, that we are our own worst enemy as far as judging ourselves. I like your approach…just let it be what it is.

  2. September 4, 2011 7:53 pm

    I have painted for a lot of years and a lot of people have paid me to do it, but nothing I’ve done has been perfect, nor have I ever been satisfied. If it ever happens I will quit.

    • September 4, 2011 8:14 pm

      Well, then I guess I better not give up, eh? I really, really like your art work…and your imagination. I’m glad to be following you and hope that I can get something complete…eventually. Thanks.

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