“Perfectionism has nothing to do with getting it right. It has nothing to do with fixing things. It has nothing to do with standards. Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop—an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details of what you are writing or painting or making and to lose sight of the whole.” --Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way
Well, it seems kind of after the fact to be writing about Black Swan, but I only just saw it the weekend before last and I love what it has to say about the creative process, how the refusal to let go can keep an artist stagnant, stuck, frigid.
I think we all have own version of that creeeeepy mother character in our heads, the vain perfectionist who doesn’t want us to take risks or make out with Mila Kunis. It’s that inner censor that I’m always going on and on about, that protective force that warps us and keeps us from knowing our own strength. It’s hard to get privacy from that judgment and fear, but we really do have to bar the door and get on with it.
Unlike Natalie Portman’s ballerina, we can do it. We can let go without self-destructing. I think it has to do with that tricky thing I’ve been wrestling with for the whole life of this blog: trust.
That’s why am so profoundly in love with 30/30—I’m so very very grateful for the amount of trust and generosity it takes to post an early draft every day and invite our friends, some of whom we’ve never met in real life, to read and comment. I really can’t think of a more loving or faithful gesture. In showing each other our flaws, our vulnerabilities, our stories we only tell when things get urgent, we’re writing ourselves a real intimacy and a real way forward. Thank you, and thank you, and thank you, and thank you.