I couldn’t tell you how many typos my book had after finishing the first draft.
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I wrote my book: How To Change Your Life Using Tools You Already Have in about a week before adding various additions in to make it read more smoothly. If I was still living my artist perfectionist life, there would have not been a book to write about in this article.
I admire Kanye West’s productivity the last few months.
On twitter he stated the albums that we should expect all within days of each other. Pusha T’s album, then his solo album, “Ye” – then come his collaboration album with Kid Cudi, then after that a Nas album. It was like back to back to back.
The top 40 had more Kanye than any other time in his career. Why? Cause he just produced and released. That’s hard for an artist, especially someone who considers themselves creative geniuses. Everyone was born with the potential to create which takes creativity and imagination and willpower, but unfortunately many of us get stuck just thinking and fact-checking, and perfecting and editing …this causes crazy indecision.
Indecision leads to doubt. That’s is because you don’t believe in yourself and you start comparing your shit to other people. You cannot sell what you don’t complete. You cannot get support when the thing is half-assed.
I remember I started to write a book in 2008 titled, Get Uncomfortable (yeah, this Comfort Killer stuff was already a seed back then) and I never finished it. Then I sent it out to people for support. 1 person responded with, “where’s the rest?” I was like umm, it’s in the works …knowing damn well I had nothing. I couldn’t sell it, I couldn’t market it, it was not complete.
The truth was…I was scared and to be quite honest – I didn’t want to write any longer.
Here is how you overcome perfectionism
- You budget time for a project. If you want to write a book – budget time for it and stick to that budgeted time. The moment the last grain of sand hits the bottom end of the glass – STOP! and move it from draft to edits.
- Delegate editing. For example if you are launching a podcast and you have budgeted time to record 6 new episodes and you give yourself 5 hours broken up in a chunk per day and by the end of the week you only have 4 episodes. STOP, move to editing or have someone edit the 4 you completed. Don’t go back in trying to make everything all pretty and sexy. This is where you will hear something you don’t like. A squeak in your voice. A phrase you didn’t mean to say. Then you may get crazy because you only finished 4 and you really wanted 6. That’s a budget problem not a stop the show problem. Keep moving to the next stage of the project. Get them edited and get them out.
- You will get better with time. Your goal is to get better over time. No one on planet earth achieved mastery in one session, in one day or in one try. You’ve got to be okay with an unpolished style at first.
I used to make music. I was a rapper.
One day – I created this entire album using beats from a producer’s instrumental tape. I rapped, I edited. … I wrote and I created a little mixtape. It was done. I was proud of it. I brought it over to a friends house and we listened. I was seeking his validation. He didn’t react with WOW so I was upset and threw my CD out the window.
1 person. 1 opinion. What a dumb move. To this day, I wish I have the master to that CD. I wish I never got rid of it. Well, we treat our creation like this…especially on the internet. We put something out and maybe one or two people hit the thumbs down button and just like that we go back in our shell like a baby turtle.
Then we try to be perfect the next time.. but perfect for who?
Do yourself a favor and lose that trait. It’s not profitable. You won’t grow with it…. you won’t get flow from it. You have to be okay with a ‘Good Enough’