My Pointless Pursuit of Perfection

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Nida Chowdhry, writer, blog, perfectionism, writer’s block, voice, voicelessness, silence, claim your voice

It amazes me (in a non-incredulous, knowing way) how many pieces I have written here that I did not publish.

I thought for the longest time that I don’t have what it takes, the proclivity for prolificness, if I may be annoying in my words. I thought I didn’t have what it takes to write the kind of things I like reading.

Looking at this page, I’ve realized it’s not that. It’s that I thought the page had a power over me, and I was afraid. I thought I was not worthy. I now understand why writers say you just need to show up and do the work. It’s not about the quality of your work, but just doing it, that makes one a writer.

There are so many things a person can say to us, but inside it is a puzzle, that needs to be solved, a lock that needs a key, a key we must find on our own. A person can give away their secret, but it’s learning the meaning behind it that takes so much work, and one’s own personal journey.

For so long, I have held myself back with an axe over my head, a burden on my shoulder. A burden to have a complete thought. To have figured it all out before I open my mouth.

As I sit back and look at what my life has revealed to me, what I have explored and gotten to know from it, I see that there is no such thing as a complete thought, a final answer.

My writing has always been a conversation with myself. A healing antidote… I relate to the phrase “suck out the poison.” For me, when things, words, thoughts, ideas, stay in me too long, when I suppress them, I am poisoned by myself, suffocated by my own ideas. I need to let it out, and let it be and do its own thing. In that way, I am very okay with being a vulnerable and imperfect being. I know that I am responsible for my actions, and the effects of my words. And I know also that I am a mirror for my own humanity.

I have been afraid that the things that I so hate about people are within me, and that means that if I am to reveal myself, I am to reveal hateable things, and thus I will be hated. I increasingly find that love is not like that. Love exists as a whole. Love embraces, accepts, appreciates, loves. And it requires a surrender, to even the things we don’t like about ourselves. To surrender and accept our fallibility. Our inevitable shortcomings.

I read a line in my own journal from 2016:

Sometimes we spend so long listening
We don’t realize we have a voice

9 responses to “My Pointless Pursuit of Perfection”

  1. LaTanya Hickson

    I need to write shorter journals.

  2. I enjoy reading your thoughts! I don’t always share everything I write or plan to write either. I’m not sure if it is lack of self-esteem or just attention deficit disorder though.

  3. Love this. A much needed reassurance.I

  4. Loved reading your thoughts and the line from your journal. So true for me, and I hope to actually use my own voice more too.

  5. So motivating. Great share!!

  6. […] am also joining this with my recent realizations on my dead-end pursuit of perfection. Combining these thoughts, I see that it’s totally possibly for me to make what I want to see […]

  7. I can actually relate to this it’s amazing. Keep doing what you do best :)

  8. A blog is perfect for addressing our own issues with perfectionism. There is the instant validation of likes. Then, for no reason, seemingly randomly, some posts do a lot better than others. Some of what I consider to be my best writing has got barely a passing glance. As time goes on, the ups and downs actually help for use to see that adoration or rejection is out of our hands. We do the work and share it. There is more chance of achieving great things with a volume of consistently improving output, rather than trying to perfect a single piece of work. Let each piece of writing have its time and keep moving. You can always go back to it and tweak it later.

  9. Thanks Nida for the proverbial nudge. As well as trying to suck out the poison by writing in my journal I perhaps need to, at some stage, risk sharing my vulnerability on my blog and perhaps get started on that book I have been promising to start since my retirement in 2009.

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