Pen and Moon

musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Tag: perfectionism

Perfectionism Kicks My A** (again)

My new plan has been to blog 3 times a week. It’s a challenging idea (ack! what the heck will I write about?) that would move me in a direction I want to go with my writing. But last week, Dear Reader, I did not.

I had planned to. It was my intention to. Then I got anxious as the days of the week went by. I couldn’t settle on anything to write. A poem? An observation? Something funny? I dunno. I found myself repeatedly running away from the blank page and screen. Some might call it writer’s block, but truthfully, I knew what it really was:  perfectionism kicking my a** (again).

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The Non-Perfect Blog

I have been wanting to blog for a long time now… ideas have flitted through my mind, things I’m going through, topics that would be good for me to write about, and yet, nada. I write in my journal all the time, squeak out a few poems, but Pen and Moon has sat here, patiently waiting. And waiting. Twiddling its thumbs, occasionally sighing, but mostly, sitting in a Buddha-meditation pose and waiting for me.

Here’s the deal–  what’s getting in my way is just plain ol’ PERFECTIONISM.  I want to get it right, have it be beautiful, the bestest photos, the most thought-provoking and scintillating words. That’s what I’ve tried to do in the past. I like doing quality work, but the A+ mentality I’ve had all my life can really get in the way of just getting something done that’s good enough.  As Bob likes to say (quoting Voltaire): “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”  And that’s what keeps tripping me up, here and in many other parts of my life. Perfectionism paralyzes me, keeps me from getting anything done–  “good enough” makes me anxious, keeps me walking on a tight rope in fear of falling off.

So I’m here today with the goal of getting back to blogging and letting it be a Non-Perfect Blog. I have a lot going on in my life right now– detours and crises, and I am up to my elbows in a place I hadn’t anticipated being. I’m deep into working on shit right now. It’s hard, it’s good, and I’ve got a lot to process and share. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Imperfectly.  So, stay tuned if you’re interested. I’ll be writing more soon!

And Now for Something Completely Different

Today I’m taking a break from the Subject of the Month to write about something new. Just shortly after My Life Changed Big-Time, I threw caution to the wind and decided to sign up for an improv class. Improv comedy has always intrigued me– I’ve gone to many performances over the years, I know a lot of people who do it, AND it scares the SH*% out of me. I’m not a person who feels comfortable doing public speaking. Even speaking one-on-one with a person who is a little bit intimidating can make my mind blank out, and I’ll have no idea what I was going to say.

I’m a writer, so communicating on paper comes completely naturally to me. The words flow, and I can free-write a la Natalie Goldberg til the cows come home (which is actually a bit improvisational, writing whatever comes to mind with no editing, and my mind and pen have no trouble with that). But I still remember the complete and utter panic I felt the night before teaching classes on National Novel Writing Month with my friend Sherri at The Loft. I knew my subject matter really well, but I was practically paralyzed and adrenalized with fear before and during the class. Continue reading

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