"Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it," attributed to Salvador Dali, opens up a window on possible sources of my procrastination...fear of closure, lest the product or producer be found wanting, fear of failing so why try, fear of criticism which, considered thoughtfully, could actually help refine a person, or his or her work. Fear of not having the right stuff, fear of making mistakes, fear of losing a train of thought, fear of falling, fear of going on too long or its opposite, of not being able to fill up the time or space. Fear of interruptions, of misunderstanding and/or being misunderstood. Fear of being too early or too late or on the wrong date, and more, for the most part illegitimate fears. Nobody probably fears the things I fear that fit in those particular categories more than I. ORl might they?
Curious, though, that I began the list as a dispassionate narrator, but ended up claiming absolute ownership of the 'fears' listed, which case is obviously not possibly true. The fears themselves are not even realistic, One thing that's true is that these are shadowy, imagined fears, nearby but rarely acknowledged, or acknowledged as 'excuses.'
"If I didn't fear perfection, then I..." (= the prompt) would probably be further ahead, more confident and poised than I am about my writing and writing life now. All of which I desire. So then why not re-write fears and shortfalls as positive goals!
I have a plethora of resources in fact, in friends, in classes and in writer support groups available to me.
I have electronic spell checkers and writer peers who would (and even my husband could) look over my work for errors. I say I can take critiques, so should be able to relax and attend to criticism, right or wrong, warranted or unwarranted, for what it's worth.
I can decide at a certain point that I just have to say this is enough, and let the work stand and deliver on its own.
I acknowledge having made more mistakes than I am aware of, that everybody makes mistakes, and that the best way is to deal with them in the moment and move on, not to dwell (or recite) on them.
I can trust God to keep in mind any thoughts and words that I need for the time and place that I need them...I can also make, save, and file notes in an organized writing environment.
I can be faithful to exercises and routines that strengthen both mind and body, and be careful how and where I step.
I can speak or write what I am given to say, and recognize whether and when it's time to go on, to revise, and/or stop.
I can recognize, not fear, audience as an ally, a necessary component for my work to be able to convey meaning.
I can look back over this list as a confidence boosting exercise. Hooray for exercise!