Last night, just before I fell asleep, I had a burst of inspiration. I knew, suddenly, how to make the writing project I’ve been sorta-kinda thinking about work. I grabbed my phone, made some quick notes, and hoped that they weren’t going to be the sort of notes that make perfect sense when you’re half-asleep, but turn into gibberish in the morning. (They weren’t. The idea is still good.)
This morning, I spent my entire workout planning a complex multimedia (text/photography/maybe some video) project, thinking about logistics and content and timeframes. I even started drafting bits of it out in my head. The workout went by in a flash.
For the last week, I’ve been toying with a really good idea for a new semi-regular feature here at the blog. I know what I want to write about for the first two columns, I just have to figure out exactly how I want to do it.
So it’s not like I have a shortage of things I could be working on.
But instead, I’m watching the trailer for the new series of Doctor Who (again). I’m trying to decide what colour rain boots I should buy (I’m torn, as always, between whimsy and versatility). I’m thinking about what to have for supper tomorrow.
It’s tempting to blame it on taking some time off, and the disruption it caused to my routine. And if I’d had more time to think about it, I probably wouldn’t have chosen that particular week to take off, precisely for that reason. It wasn’t a good time for a break. But the real problem is, all of these projects, exciting as they are, scare me to death. They’re just far enough out of my comfort zone—a step or two beyond what I know I can do—that the idea of starting them, and not having them reach their potential, freaks me out. (Even the blog series, which is pretty straightforward. There’s still a small part of me that wonders whether I can pull it off as well as I hope.)
I know how pointless that sort of worry is. I know that perfectionism is a trap. I know that the projects won’t turn out exactly the way I want them to, and that that’s a good thing. I know that everyone goes through this. And I know that I won’t stop worrying about any of this, and it doesn’t matter, I have to push forward and trust that it’ll work.
I just need to remind myself of that sometimes.
THE GAP by Ira Glass from frohlocke on Vimeo.