Monday, August 6, 2012

Just Do It!

Let Go Of Your Expectations,

I'm a recovering perfectionist.  This was a tough one for me :)

And Just Finish!

I'm learning this with my cookbook.  It's been a toughie for me.  I had a great foundation to start with thanks to some blogging I did several years ago.  I thought I was pretty much finished, until I saw a larger theme I wanted to convey and saw many gaps, which needed to be filled.  Ugh!  A real, sell it on Amazon book, takes forever.

I recently got very overwhelmed by the whole process and set it to rest so I could clear my head.  I took some time and looked at some successful cookbooks.  I had to clarify my intention.  Am I writing a How-To-Cook book, or am I writing a cookbook?

See, many of those blog posts included some really nice How To photos.  I was trying to set myself apart by including little cooking lessons with my recipes. Once I clarified the direction for the book, I realized I had more pictures than I would ever need.  I also realized that, during the time I was going nuts continuing to do things the old way, I had also pretty much collected all the information I needed to wrap up the writing and formatting, as well.

Now it's just time to finish it! I have been sitting on a pile of stuff for several months, it needs to be cleaned up, organized and sent out to the Universe.

I'm finally starting to see why things have been unfolding the way they have.  I've set the goal of early 2013 as my finish line.  This way, I can spend the summer finishing some other creative endeavors, and spend the school year finishing the book.  No more super-concentrated, creative juice is needed.  It's all pretty much grunt work from here.  But I noticed something interesting before I got to this point.  I was frozen and procrastinating, for so many reasons, but the big reason was my ego was fighting for its life.
Even though I've been getting a lot of other things accomplished, I realized I'd been allowing my ego to indulge itself in so many areas of my life. My inner perfectionist had kicked in. Then something happened.  I did some yoga with my niece on my filthy living room floor. (I'd been frozen on cleaning my apartment because it had gotten so out of control from focusing on my writing.  I didn't know where to start.  I had a vision and wanted it to be perfect.) My reality shifted and the perfectionist was no more.
Anyone a Ren and Stimpy fan?           
You see, it doesn't matter if there's a typo you might have missed.  It doesn't matter if the formatting is off.  It doesn't matter if the photo could be better.  It doesn't have to be the way you thought it should be.  It doesn't have to be perfect. This is just your ego getting in the way. The closer you get to finishing a creative endeavor, the more the ego is going to retaliate.  Just get to that finish line and you can critique everything else later. 

Even if the finished product will be something that will benefit yourself and others, it will be a change.  The status quo will shift and your here and now will no longer be.  Similar to The Law of Attraction rule about the Universe not knowing the difference between what you want and don't want, the ego can't tell the difference between good change and bad change.  It just knows it's change and it doesn't like it.

I am going to be creating a lot of things from here on out and I'm going to share it all here.  I want to include my readers in the unfolding of my creative process.  The one Graduate level class I did manage to successfully complete was a  class on the creative process.  It's fascinating.  

Things never unfold the way you plan. Ever! The finished product is never what you really envisioned either.  It's always close, but if you play your cards right, it's usually better.  So, once you let your expectations go, you're suddenly free to create without hesitation.

That's what notepads are for; both on the computer and off.  They are meant for brainstorming.  Who cares about typos, that's what spell checks are for.  I sit and look at the sky, stare at the trees and listen to music while I write or brainstorm.  I  just let the ideas flow. In the winter months I sit in front of the television and watch movies and write.  What can I say.  When it's time to create, it's time to create.
Here's my brainstorm notepad for the end of this post

That's it!  You're not perfect, so your creative process will not unfold perfectly.  Look at how crazy my notes were for this post.  Of course, before I publish my book, I will make sure that all my typos and other boo boos are tended to.  But in the meantime, it's all about just getting it done.

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