Sunday, October 13, 2013

Personality-Related Blogger's Block (and a Challenge to Correct It)

I have a personality disorder that affects some areas of my life. It goes a little something like this:  If I can't do something perfectly, or at least thoroughly, I put off doing it, and sometimes don't ever do it all. (Here is where I insert that I just realized I wrote something similar to this last November.  Clearly, I haven't made much improvement since then...) This personal problem of mine is especially evident to the naked eye in areas like housecleaning, home decorating and crafting.  It's less evident, but just as prevalent, in areas such as my prayer life, friendly correspondence, and blog post writing.  Oddly enough, it doesn't rear its head in other things - like preparing a meal, buckling down to school lessons, tending the garden, or eating cake. 

I've recently had numerous epiphanies regarding things I'd love to blog about, and yet I regularly put off write anything because I know I won't be able to do it to my satisfaction: it won't sound intelligent, it won't visit both sides of an argument, I don't have the time to do sufficient research and gather evidence which will be carefully cataloged and notated, I'll forget to include an important point, I'll spell something wrong, I'll open myself up to ridicule, harassment, inquisition, or even IRS targeting with potential shutdown by the government. 

But at least I get it now -  I figured out the reason for my blogger's block.  It's not a lack of ideas.  It's a personality trait of setting a task on the back burner when I'm pretty confident the finished product will never measure up to the picture perfect image or concept in my mind.  Better not to do it all than to do it and not get it right perfect.  

For better or worse, I've decided to do something about this personality quirk.  At least for the next seven days.  I recall a "Blogger's Challenge" in recent history which challenged bloggers to write something for each of seven days.  And now I challenge myself - I will write something for seven days.  And since I don't have the lifestyle or mental organization to write something truly well thought out and "great" every day - or even once a month - these posts will probably be imperfect, incomplete, potentially uninteresting, and quite possibly incomprehensible.  But it will force me to do something uncomfortable, yet productive - both for this blog and for my emotional state :)  

So, I'll see you tomorrow.  As for today, I leave you with these high quality thoughts and poor quality photographs. (it was really dark out, ok?)

But the vastness of the sky will naturally lead the mind to contemplate infinities; it is wholly apt to associate the sky with expansiveness of the spirit, with joy and freedom and holiness...
 The sky suggests the vastness of creation and the smallness of man's ambition.  It startles us out of our dreams of vanity, it silences pride, it stills the lust to get and spend...

A child that has been blared at and distracted his whole life will never be able to do the brave nothing of beholding the sky.  He will not be able to ask, with the Psalmist,

When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man that thou are mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

- Anthony Esolen, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child  (and Psalm 8!)

Thanks to my Dad who brought over one of his telescopes on a clear night!  It's always amazing to see the moon "close up." The kids enjoyed it, but in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that they were a little riled up by the novelty of being let out late at night with their pajamas on.  They were more excited about hide and seek in the dark than moon-gazing, and they totally lost all interest in the stars when the lady with the puppy on a battery-operated light-up leash walked past :) We're still working on the "expansiveness of the spirit, joy, and holiness" thing!   


  1. xoxo Are you familiar with The Nester? Her motto is "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." My home especially languishes because of my having similar tendencies. Remembering that motto at least got me started trying to do things. You can do it!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Nella! I like her mantra and will check out her site. That could be the rally cry for pretty much every area of my life :) It seems like an important key to contentment in this life that will only be made perfect in Heaven!

  2. Great idea. As you know, I fall into the same line of thinking. It's tough to write well when your sleep is broken and you're writing in bits and pieces all through the day. I have no idea how some bloggers with even more on their plate than me write such well thought out posts, you know? I've been trying to more and more just put it in God's hands and if He wants me to write (even something mundane or trivial), He'll give me the words. I'm looking forward to reading no matter how imperfect it may be :)

    1. Thanks, Mary! Mundane and trivial sounds familiar here - it's the stuff of life, right?!


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