Working beyond perfection

Welcome to the Oracle of Imagination.

As this is the first blog post for this site, I feel like I should come out with something deep and hard-hitting. Something that will make you stop, read, and remember.

Something that will make you want to come back for more.

And sure, I could put off this post and wait for the right idea to come.

Or, I could sit down and get to work by sharing what’s on my mind in the here and now.

And sometimes, just doing something is better than nothing.
 
It’s so easy to want to make a big splash right at the beginning:

To write a perfect first draft.
To have a best-selling debut novel.
To have a big, fancy website to unveil yourself to the world.
To play to a sold-out crowd.
To have a winning idea that can act upon, risk-free and guaranteed to be “the right thing.”
To know that something will sell before you invest your time and energy into it.

But these are all reflections of perfection – to have everything just-so – and perfection is an ideal, not a reality.

And perfection is not how I work.

Creativity is organic. Blogs, websites, businesses, manuscripts, songs, bands, poems…they all evolve.

Our styles, visions, motivations, and ideas change over time. The more we continue to follow our creativity in all its forms, the more layered and nuanced our influences become.

Creative paths have ebbs and flows, whereas perfection demands rigidity and static attitudes.

Sure, you can make an amazing debut with a piece of work. It’s not impossible for early beginnings can be astounding.

But they don’t have to be.

And sometimes, the things we begin with are not what feel most relevant or powerful to us in later years. Early success is not always a marker of life-long creative satisfaction.

The early days of something shouldn’t necessarily be the times where we assume all eyes will be on us, either.

And beginnings shouldn’t be thought of as “make or break” moments. No, instead, they just starting points where we can believe that there is always more to come, and more ways we can improve.

It is so much more freeing to work in a way where there are no expectations.

Perfection tricks us into thinking that everyone who witnesses our creations will be harsh critics, demanding nothing but the best.

“But I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I just need it to be perfect to meet my own standards,” you might be thinking.

If that’s the case, then ask: Why?

Perfection is not always what we think it is. It dresses up as good work but really, it can be an excuse in a beautiful, elusive disguise, one that slips through your fingers as soon as you try grab for it.

Perfection wastes a lot of time and drives a lot of the procrastination in this world.

It is what causes us to believe that if we can’t create something that comes out perfect the first time, there’s no point in even trying.

It is what keeps us from exploring, experimenting, and taking risks – all of the things that creativity needs to thrive.

It is what causes us to forget that creativity grows with time.

And concepts, mastery, confidence, voice, and style are all things that gradually emerge if you allow yourself to wade into the uncertainty of the creative process.

And that means writing a shitty first draft.
Or launching your blog even if you’re not sure anyone will read it.
Or performing to a few of your closest friends instead of the sold-out room you’ve been hoping for.

But it’s all for something. It all leads to somewhere, and it’s all part of the organic process of bringing your creativity to life.

Which what the Oracle of Imagination is all about.

I created this space out of a single hit of inspiration. I don’t have a fully fleshed out vision for what this is all meant to be yet, or for how I want it all to look.

I don’t have a plan for what I want this to lead to.

I have lots of ideas, and lots to say. But I’m going to let my inspiration lead the way on when, and how, and what first.

At the time of this post, I’ve been writing professionally for over 17 years. If there’s one thing I have learned by now, it’s this:

Projects will always show you what they want you to do with them. They will reveal themselves in time, but you have to keep showing up for them – date them.

But the enemy to it all is perfection. Perfection gets jealous of those dates between you and your projects. It wants you all to itself – and sometimes, it wins.

Perfection is a jealous lover that keeps you from being able to really listen, to tune into your intuition and let creativity lead the way.

So that’s what I plan to do here.

I share this with you to encourage you to do the same. Whether you are working on a project right now, or are hesitating to get started because you worry it won’t turn out “good enough,” ask yourself how you can set perfection aside and trust that the process will unfold exactly as it needs.

And if you feel called to do so, please return to join me here again so that we can allow our journeys to flow together.

Until next time,

Liz xo

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