Perfectionist Tendencies

The thing with doing a lot, aiming for quantity… I wonder if that’s what I ought to focus on for a while. At this point, working for good quality is so ingrained, so… natural (though I hesitate to use that word, it seems true enough), what I tend to put out in sheer output is generally pretty damn good in quality to. That is, when I apply myself to churning things out. I get absorbed in getting things closer and closer to “just right” though. I’ve explored this a bit before in my (online) journal and training holocron, so to avoid I’ll summate what it comes down to: I’m good at things. That’s just a fucking fact, one I need to come to terms with. I still have that inward cringe, the doubts when I think like this: “isn’t that a little pretentious, a little arrogant?” And you know what? Yeah, it is. So!?

I can devote a little energy towards being more productive, on putting out more when it comes to quantity – or frequency. And even if half of what I do or write is rubbish, I’m perfectly capable of distilling, of… harvesting. Some seeds don’t grow – some notes don’t go beyond the status of jumbled, fragmented notes. Others blossom.

I’m better than I like to allow myself to think I am, in many areas. I’m competent at the very least, and taking on more can only help me to expand and grow. At least that’s the working theory for the moment… It fits with what I know through experience already.

Now, at this point, I’m not really sure whether to commit to anything solid. Most of the time, I try to keep commitments minimal, I tend not to keep them. On the rare ocassion I give my word, I like it to mean something. I also tend to feel confined by them, and I like to limit that. Huh… actually, that sounds like I’m trying to stay comfortable. I guess that’s a point in favor of making a decision and solidified intent.

There’s also that I feel guilty when I don’t live up to what I say I’m going to. Course, when it comes down to it not commiting to anything in order to avoid the possibility of failure – or success and the responsibilities or expectations that might bring – that is a pretty weak way of doing things.

Failure is an oppurtunity for learning and trying to step it up or change directions a bit; alternatively, succeeding serves to heighten people’s expectations of me. With the latter… why am I concerned with people’s expectations of me all of the sudden? I thought I’d covered this ground already – definately seems like I’ve been here before. Here’s what I (ought to) know: it’s fine, even good for myself, to be aware of what people expect, and even to accept it as motivation sometimes, but when it comes right down to it my own expectations are the only ones that matter.

Fuck… if this is a board game, I sure pulled myself a backwards card and went back a few spaces. Back on forward one step at a time I guess. So, lesson (re)learned? We’ll see.

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One comment

  1. Quantity vs quality is a tricky balance to maintain. Sure, say you want to make an impact at a forum – you want to post a lot. But if all you post is crap, then that’s not so great. But likewise – if you never post because you’re waiting for that perfect gem of a lecture to come to you – then you never post. I think it’s a matter of what’s important to you.

    For me, writing is important. I feel compelled to do it. But I know three quarters of what I write isn’t going to be my perfect gem of a lecture, which is why I have a preference for blogging. So that’s how I try to balance quality and quantity. I put out a LOT and then polish the bits with potential. It’s also why I like NaNoWriMo *smile* I’m such a perfectionist, it gets in the way of my writing. Having a month in which all I do is focus on getting the bulk down so that I can go back and polish later, usually means I get a lot more done.

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