“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
― Salvador Dali
I got this book early last year when I was trying to be more creative, but in the most structured way possible. One thing I fear, which I think many of us fear, is doing something badly. We fear that we will start something, it will be bad, and that means that we are bad at it so what’s the point of even trying? This book is exactly what I needed. It’s basically homework for your creative self. For twelve weeks, you get a seven-to-ten page chapter explaining the different barriers we encounter when pursuing a creative endeavor. Instead of asking us to do more and wake up at five am to meditate for an hour, it’s asking us to think about what we want to do more of and set a small goal to try doing it this week. Don’t try to make it perfect. Just do it and then write down a few words of how it makes you feel.
I’m oversimplifying it but going through the exercises in this book resulted in me articulating my fears, desires, and ideal future life. The more “baby steps” I took in my artistic experimentation, the more excited I became. I bought a sketchbook for the first time in my adult life. I identified habits for which I held deep shame. I also began to practice activities that brought me immense joy and satisfaction.
The good: To my surprise, I tried cutting out a shameful habit for one month and, nearly one year later, it has stuck. I have also finished a first draft of my book, and have set the goal of publishing it in some form by the end of 2022.
The bad: This is a self-help book and it fits firmly into that category. I rolled my eyes at the talk of a creative god and spiritual electricity. It’s also twelve weeks and requires that you journal every morning when you get up.
(Header quote from Cheryl Strayed.)