An update on the first two weeks of my Fifty Failures Project: Fighting the Perfectionist
Fortnightly updates will be part of this project in order to keep me motivated and accountable, but also as a fun writing exercise. It is my hope that in recording this project I will learn more about both my work and myself.
That being said, I have only two things to report for these past two weeks:
- I sent out one application to be a freelance writer for a well-known site. I have not heard back yet though so I cannot count this as a failure or not. Although in instances like this I think I’ll need to set a deadline for their reply before adding it to the official count as I might not receive an actual rejection.
- My perfectionist tendencies are stubborn and strong. For an example see point number one above. I am embarrassed that I couldn’t bring myself to take another risk, but I am also trying to pull out the positives to build up my courage for the next two weeks.
Reflecting back on the time I spent this week there are clear “perfectionist” tendencies shining through: I spent a ridiculous amount of time browsing job websites, Twitter, Instagram, etc… and when I would find something that looked feasible I did not simply follow the submission/application procedure.
No, I would start worrying that I am somehow not good enough. Then I’d start googling things that I don’t really need to, like how to write a cover letter. And I would re-read the same few articles on pitching that I have bookmarked, as if somehow this next time I would find a magic key to success.
In the moment I am convinced that just a little bit more research is all I need to have the confidence to put myself forward. But of course this is just how a perfectionist procrastinates.
Must. Do. More. Research.
Only once did I manage to read a freelance job ad, fill out the application, write a brief cover letter, and hit the damn SEND button without dithering. It only took about 40 minutes to complete the whole thing. That is less time than it takes to watch an episode of The Americans.
These were just the first two weeks so I am inclined to forgive myself for falling back into old habits. As long as I make progress in this project each fortnight I will consider it a success.