By: Brianne Hogan, Guest Blogger
I’ve been working on writing project for the past couple of months. This is how my work process has been like: I stop and start. Stop and start. Start again. Then, ultimately, stop. Again.
A deadline in May looms ahead of me, yet, sadly, frustratingly, I don’t think I am closer to completing it by then as I was two months ago when I first started.
I should also note that this project of mine is a passion one, and as someone who doesn’t throw that word “passion” around lightly, this means that it’s an important project. An all-consuming project. It’s the first thing I think about in the morning, and the last thing I think about before my head hits the pillow at night.
So, what gives?
I’m afraid to suck.
I want this project to be perfect right away. First time out. ASAP. It’s perfect, all perfect, no changes needed, no editing, no corrections. I’m also the first to admit that I know how impossible this actually is to achieve. Especially when, uh, I haven’t even started it yet!
Finally I realized that my need to complete my project outweighed my incessant need to get it right. As I said to my friend earlier today, “I’m allowing myself to suck today.”
That was a huge moment for both me, and my little friend, Ego. Ego took some prying. Some coaxing. But after Ego finally got out of the way, I was able to give myself full-on permission to suck, and then…I immediately relaxed. Words, ideas, phrases came easily to me. I was on fire! And the coolest part? I was even okay with crossing out the “bright ideas” I had experienced only moments ago. I was okay with being “wrong” because here’s the thing: I wasn’t wrong; I was growing.
I’m still learning this lesson even as I write this, but here goes: one must suck to stop sucking.
In order to achieve greatness at your gnawing passion, you have to be okay with failing. Like, really badly. And then you keep going. You don’t stop and start. Maybe pause and get your bearings, recognize what’s working for you (it’s important to focus on your positive attributes) and what’s not (it’s also important to be honest with yourself), but it’s imperative that you keep going. It’s very tempting to stop, to give up and to tell yourself that “this isn’t working” or “I’ll just never get it/be good at it/have it,” but you mustn’t. If you have a passion that burns in your belly/heart/soul from morning ‘til night, you’ve gotta honor that. Gotta.
Everything that is worth doing takes practice, patience and being extra gentle and kind to yourself. Don’t forget to give yourself props for tackling the unknown and for just showing up. Keep showing up for your suck, keep pushing through that suckage, and I’m almost positive that there’s a happy ending on the other side of it. No one is a master at something on the first try, even if they do have a knack and talent for it. They keep at it for, well, probably 10,000 hours (thanks, Malcolm Gladwell).
Because remember: even Beyonce wasn’t built in a day.
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Brianne is a writer based in Toronto. Her instincts and love of adventure have led her to interesting jobs (grass cutter and wine seller, to name a few), as well long-terms stays in beautiful cities (New York City, Vancouver and Florence). Follow Brianne on Twitter: www.twitter.com/briannehogan & check out more on Tumblr
image via kristyriceonline.com