To know me is to know that I am a perfectionist.
It’s not a quality I particularly like about myself as all that’s resulted from it is stress, stress eating (notably, ice cream and Cheetos) and the constant feeling that nothing I do is ever as good as I want it to be. Now, with going back to school and learning about talented photographers, graphic designers and artists on a daily basis, it’s hard for me that I am nowhere near being that good yet.
But I try to remember something a wise (and handsome) manfriend once told me, “Progress, not perfection.” I try to remember it again and again, because it’s about the truest thing I’ve ever heard.
It’s easy in this insanely connected world to feel defeated when browsing the Internet and envy so many people who are creating amazing things, running their own businesses, writing intelligent AND witty articles, managing successful blogs and sharing all their rightful talents with the world. The Internet makes it so easy! That’s the beautiful thing about it though – the fact that we can share our lives and work with people all across the earth, most of whom we’ve never met.
But it can also suck the creative soul right out of you! It can leave you (read: me) feeling like your ideas aren’t as good or as worthy. That what you do isn’t at that high of a level, so why do it at all? That’s where the ol’ perfectionism and impatience kick in and make you (again, read: me) feel bad that you aren’t there yet. This feeling has hit me especially hard lately.
In an effort to both escape the comparison trap and better myself, I am giving up the Internet. Okay, okay…not the whole Internet, but I am limiting social media + blog reading to 10 minutes per day. Six-hundred seconds, that’s it. Because it’s finally time I step away from the computer and spend my precious free time creating things instead of reading about people creating things.
Less computer, more practice. Practice makes progress. Progress > perfection.
Am I right or am I right?
P.S. This is a watercolor of a jellyfish I did in my inaugural effort to step away from the computer and create more. I liked it so much, I framed it. It’s now hanging comfortably and happily on my bathroom wall. I’d say it’s a dang good start.