Doing It All Wrong

I’m thinking of burnt toast. This is the image I equate with defeating perfectionism. Somewhere, years ago, I read a suggestion to purposely do everything wrong for a week or even a day. I tried it for a day and was freed from useless habits. As the author noted, I saw how doing everything perfectly (or doing anything perfectly) was a choice. I could choose to be as imperfect as I wanted. I could choose to make things merely good enough. This was not the same as realizing that most things done by others are merely good enough and I did them better. This was noticing that good enough was good enough for most things. No need to waste my time on making everything perfect when only certain strategic tasks needed to be done perfectly.

"Take a Recall vacation. It'll be perfect!"
“Take a Recall vacation. It’ll be perfect!” McClane and Quaid discuss a virtual vacation in “Total Recall” (1990).

The novel I’m writing stalled around 5000 words. Then I had a zero word day. That was when I decided, that not only would this novel not be perfect, it would be horrible. I started throwing in every stupid and ridiculous trope I could think of: lots of “she said”, the color violet, purple dragons, long blond hair, repetitious phrases, hackneyed phrases, cliches, magical fog, talking heads, eating, inaction, fairytale creatures—you name it. And the writing has flowed from the keyboard and words have been written. I’ve written over 16,000 words of possibly the worst story ever and I love it! So, maybe it’s not so bad after all.


by Elaine Greywalker
by Elaine Greywalker

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I am, therefore, I am.

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