Not-perfect is real.

Imagine two stories:
STORY 1: A girl lives on a farm with her Aunt Em and her Uncle. Everything is pretty outside. She goes to sleep. She wakes up. Her dog jumps into her arms. Everything is fine. Oh, yes, a little boring maybe.
STORY 2: A girl lives on a farm with her Aunt Em and her Uncle. Everything is pretty outside. There is a tornado. She finds herself in another world and her house has killed the wicked witch of the west. She needs to get away, and there are bad guys, and crazy monkeys, and three adventurers who come with her. The man who is supposed to get them out of there is frightening. Everything seems lost, and then she finds the wizard of Oz, clicks her heels and comes home and wakes up.

A little more drama in story 2, eh? I want to make sure I keep drama in my blog posts. I want to make sure I show you in writing what I think the cool parts are and what the issues are. I don’t want to be too didactic. I don’t want to be too simple and obvious. I want to write a mystery, like Haidt in most chapters of The Happiness Hypothesis. I want to write a love story, like The Dot and the Line, and I want to write what’s fun!

But sometimes, I want to write and write and write and do more and more research before presenting it. This is the leftovers of junior high school perfectionism. Actually, everyone who knows me would say that I am not a perfectionist. I’m not. But in some things, I have the leanings of one.

And there are other bloggers out there who say similar things! That’s why I’m writing this down and why I made the repeated goal of writing daily! It’s about a hint of an idea. It’s not about a thesis! (…um, that’s an exclamation sign to me, not to you).

I have such a mini-struggle with blogs sometimes. There are so many fascinating ideas in the positive psychology literature, and I’d like you to see them all! Or, well, the really interesting ones anyway.

Here’s what Charlene Li of Forrester says about losing – and finding – one’s voice:

So I’ve vowed to follow Nike’s mantra and “just do it”, or in this case, to “just blog it”. Damn the idea of quality and depth of analysis — I’m better off getting something out there and getting your reactions to it. So here I am, writing a stream of consciousness and finding my voice again. … So hang on, I’ve got a lot of pent up ideas that I want to explore. I don’t promise well-formed ideas or deep insights in every post, but it’s the best that I’ll be able to do.

Christine Lane writes about the 17 things she knows about creativity. I like number 11 and 17:

  • 11 – Blogging is creative. I think blogs have become so popular because bloggers get to just write. They get to see the big deal of not making it such a big deal. …
  • 17 – Creativity is about showing up, not perfection. If you want to be more creative in your life, if you crave a more artful life, start small. Make cards for people. Make ugly cards. Call them “Ugly Cards, Inc.” Write bad poems. Call them “Bad Poems, Inc.” I bought a thank you gift for a friend of mine recently. And it sat on my desk for weeks because I was waiting to find “the perfect card.” Knowing what I know about Energy Drains and Creativity, I finally got so frustrated with myself and my perfectionist that I just ripped a piece of paper off a Kinko’s notepad. I folded it. On the front of the “card,” I wrote: “Beautifully crafted card with the perfect sentiment expressing exactly how grateful I am for your presence in my life.” And I opened the “card,” and on the inside I wrote: “…with the perfect little punch-line inside to make you laugh and feel good about yourself.” And I sent the card and package. And it brought my friend great joy. She loved the card.

And, of course, I am a fan of the dailyness of Fred at AVC, whom I first read about on Evelyn’s blog.

Cool, see you soon.

Posted on 12-15-06 for Mon, 12-11-06.

One Comment

  1. Posted Thursday December 21, 2006 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    After reading item #17 about creativity, I realized how trying to be perfect thwarts creativity. It really does stops the flow. Thank you for that insight. It very liberating. :)