On perfectionism

Open notebook with blank page and pen

I stumbled on this podcast episode recently from the Art of Charm. It was as if the universe was asking me to stop scrolling through podcast lists and just get on with writing my thesis.

Still, I just couldn’t stop myself after reading the episode’s title – ‘Perfectionism: the enemy of progress’ with an Adelaide clinical psychologist as guest speaker. Maybe they’ll give me the antidote to procrastination? (Here’s a link to some of her tips. My favourite one from here is ‘try not to stop too often’.) They say, ‘done is better than perfect’ and I understand the wisdom in it, but still, I signed up for this program not just wanting it to be a tick mark on a list, or just something I need to get over and done with. At the time of writing this though, even just getting it ‘over and done with’ will already be a massive personal achievement.

What’s so scary about a blank page? Is it the imagined opportunity that makes the empty page so daunting? I’ve been told many times that the first draft is just that – the first draft - and as much as possible, I should let the ideas and the words flow unconstrained. How do you switch off the critic in your head as you’re writing the first draft?  A few of the other HDR students recommend attending a ‘Shut Up and Write’ session if what helps your writing process is knowing that there are others around you focused on their writing too. I attended a few of these during those times I needed to ‘sprint’ with my writing and it did help. Most of the time I prefer writing on my own so that I'm not tempted to take too many breaks chatting with other students.

My sister’s an artist and designer and as such, she doesn’t have too many writing tasks but still needs some focused time to create. When’s the best time for you to have dedicated creation time, whether it’s curating words, or visual arts or music?

Tagged in what messes with your head, writing, Student life, stress