Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Start Writing

I'm a procrastinator. I admit it. I have been my entire life. In fact, procrastinator was my first big word. "Heather is a procrastinator" was a common comment on my report cards in elementary school. It wasn't that I didn't get good grades, or that I didn't want to do the work, I just didn't want to do it YET. I could never seem to get started.

Years later I learned that some people define procrastination as a sign that the person wants things to be perfect, and, to avoid it not being perfect (it never really is anyway, is it?) he or she never starts. That was really a revelation to me. It helped me to realize that it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to get done. At the very least, it has to get started.

That philosophy helped me a lot when I was a reporter. I would tell myself "Just start writing" rather than sitting at the computer thinking about what I might write. Having to meet deadlines everyday helped me tremendously, but I'm still a procrastinator at heart. And, being out of the news business for a couple of years has allowed the waiting to creep back in.

These issues resurfaced when I decided to start a blog. I've been reading a friend's blog and been really inspired, but, that same inspiration and admiration for her blog put me off of starting my own. What would I title it? What would it be about? I found myself fretting endlessly about the title. I thought it should be something witty or profound or, at the very least, defining. I had posts composed in my head, but nowhere to post them because I didn't have a fun title or a definition of who I was and what I was writing about. Then I realized, that is what it's about. I'm not defined, not really. I have a wide variety of interests, none of which likely will dominate this space. I know who I am, but I don't know how to tell anyone else. At least, not in the amount of time most people spend reading something on the Internet.

So, I'm going to Just Start Writing. I don't have a cool graphic to display or a specific profile picture to post, or even a description of myself in the profile, but I'm writing. I'll fill in the other things later. Or, maybe I won't. But I won't waste another minute waiting for perfection before getting started.

Maybe I thought of a cool title after all.

Then again, I can always change it later.

5 comments:

Neets said...

Hey Heather -- I'm happy to see you're blogging! I actually have the same exact problem with writing...and being people who write a lot for a living, that's a difficult thing to work through. I think it's absolutely true that when you have the perfectionist streak you get so mired in the weeds you can never just START already! Good luck!

*pab said...

Yay! I LOVE this! Thanks for the shout-out. I am in the same place as you. I needed an outlet, but always found myself sacrificing the good for the perfect. Just do it for YOU. The beauty is in the imperfection. xo

*pab said...

Oh, and one other thing: it took me a looooonnng time to figure out all the cool features of blogger and add them to my site. I still don't know how to do everything, but it's fun when I figure it out. :)

Shawn said...

I have several friends who just blog about the funny stories of their children as they grow up and start talking. Thanks for sharing your thoughts/stories too!

crownroom said...

I really like the conversational flow of your article. I'm not much of a recreational reader. However, when the material reads as though I'm sitting with the author just having a conversation, I'm drawn in. Nice work.