“He who does not expect perfection is not disappointed when he does not find it…” Charles H. Spurgeon
Lifted from Bill Britton: Wisdom from the Margins
So, I’ll go public with it right now: I am in the early stages of writing a book. The sad thing is, I have been in the “early stages” of writing this book for a few months, and I have made little progress.
In the beginning I was very clear on the subject and the message I wanted to express. I had a title, sub-title, and even potential chapter headings. It was never intended to be a long book, 125 pages or so. I planned to use notes from a journal I have been writing for a couple years, so I have ample grist.
And yet… I am no closer to begin writing today than I was three months ago. In fact, I am further from that goal today than I was three months ago. What gives?
Thinking Too Much
After identifying essential processes and even purchasing a new kind of writing software that I thought would advance the project, I found that I was beginning to lose energy to even proceed with it. “Waste of time,” I began to whisper to my creative muse.
Truthfully, however, I continue to feel it is a worthy project. But I was at a loss as to how to proceed… until early this afternoon.
Today I spoke with two women who offered insights: It seems that over the course of months I have allowed myself to envision unreasonably lofty goals for the project—so lofty that the chances of achieving these goals are highly unlikely.
When Creativity is Unreasonable
I think I am experiencing the battle of the reasonable mind and the creative mind. In a blog I wrote a few weeks ago, I quoted song writer and phenomenal producer Nick Cave who implied that the “what” of a creative project has little to do with the creative process. The result will be what it may. In fact, he said that the result may be “none of my business.” My business is to create.
It is true. When the creative begins to be overly concerned with the reception of the work of art, the creative process takes a hit. It’s not a popularity contest. It is a work of the heart and the soul. It comes from the deepest core and therefore must care only of the process of the work.
Is it “You?”
For me, it needs only to be good, true, and worthy of provoking thought. It needs not be perfect in any aspect. Spurgeon said it well, “Don’t expect perfection and you will not be disappointed… especially when the work comes from the heart.
I think this is true of all our work, creative or productive. When it comes from the truest inner core, it is the expression of the truest self and what else can we ask for?
It’s the Work You “Do” That Matters
So… “Do” and Let the Result Be What It May
Photo courtesy of sqback at istockphoto