I have to quit trying

I mean I need to quit trying so hard. This is advice given to me by more than one person and the more I think about it, the more true it rings.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I seem to mainly whine about how I can’t find my muse and I’m a lousy creative person and I can’t do anything. Let me establish some proof.

Last night I spent all night fiddling around on Twitter and pen websites instead of doing anything constructive. In the back of  my head, I wanted to pick up my journal which I haven’t used in 7 months. But that’s sort of a daunting task for me and I think it’s because I feel pressure to be great.  How can one be great in their own journal? It’s just supposed to be MY thoughts and I can’t be wrong if I’m writing things that are in my head… right? Who feels pressure to perform greatness in a journal?

Finally I forced myself to turn away from the computer and grab my journal. I selected my Pelikan M200 filled with MB British Racing Green, put nib to paper,  and waited to see what happened. What came out of me was this odd list of things I observed about my behavior prior to picking up my pen. It was kind of refreshing because my journaling has always been very methodical; I sit down, write out several correctly formatted paragraphs, and put the journal away. This entry had nothing in common with my previous entries, it felt spontaneous and  very different.

Then I sat down with another notebook, this one is an idea book where I’m hashing out ideas for projects or just random thoughts about things. I wanted to perform a very simple task: draw a very simple registration screen for a website I’m fiddling with. It consisted of maybe 5 rectangles and yet I balked at the job. I sat there staring at the blank page with my Sharpie pen in hand and wondering where to start.

Where to start? Draw a frickin rectangle you dope!

Eventually I managed to scrawl out a very simplistic mockup that should have never even given me pause at all. Once it was done, I felt sheepish. It took that much energy to draw a few rectangles in a notebook? Why am I so crazy?

I think at some point I got the idea in my head that things on a notebook page need to be perfect, even if it’s just something I’m using for ideas. I’m a perfectionist with everything I do, yet I’m not capable of being perfect. See the conundrum there? I can’t be perfect because I’m not an artist, yet I won’t try unless it’s perfect, even when it’s supposed to be a rough sketch. There has to be a term to describe this level of insanity.

This week I think I’m going to force myself to doodle. Can you believe I won’t even doodle because I fear it won’t turn out right? That’s right, I won’t doodle because it might look stupid. Someone smack me in the head please.