Each of the last three days I haven’t blogged, I’ve convinced myself that I was just too busy. I have had a LOT of writing projects for church; there’s been no time to gather my thoughts into a blog.
That’s what I thought with my self-important self…until I read today’s blurb in “The Artist’s Way Every Day” devotional book. The first line of January 29’s entry? “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” Gulp. It wasn’t out of some sense of more important things to do that I kept from writing…it was an old personal ogre rearing it’s ugly head: perfectionism.
Does anything kill life or creativity more than perfectionism, this idea that if you can’t do something brilliantly, you mustn’t do it at all? Sigh.
So much that is good and, yes, brilliant in the world came to be as the result of play, of trial and error, of–gasp!–mistakes.
As a young preacher, I labored over every word of every sermon. Preaching only thee or four times a year, I had that luxury. When I began pastoring, though, I quicky realized there simply wasn’t time to write the perfect sermon every week. For a while I tried, oh how I tried! But, as you might imagine, I got very exhausted very quickly.
So, I set myself a challenge: one week I gave myself only 2 hours–for the whole week–to complete my sermon. At first, it was nerve-wracking…but then I set my pen to the task at hand–just get it finished–and the nerves disappeared.
That cured me of my perfectionism with preaching. Oh, goodness. Why do I lie like that? It HELPED with my perfectionism with preaching. While I usually spend more (sometimes much more) than 2 hours with any sermon, I have learned that it’s better to get something down on paper than to try to write perfectly from the beginning. So, when I feel the Perfectionist Ogre–let’s call him Erskine–when I feel Erskine creeping up on me, I type out a flurry of words until he retreats. That done, I relax into the writing/editing process and have some fun.
Okay..so much for today’s flurry of words. Erskine has gone back to bed…good thing. Tomorrow’s sermon isn’t quite finished yet!
Peace for the journey…