March 31, 2010

Inadequacy. The foil of perfectionism.

I was born a perfectionist. The toys on my dresser had to be lined up just so in the visually appealing order of my choice. Underwear on the left, socks on the right. Dinner napkins folded so that the edges lined up exactly--even paper ones. Every bubble on my standardized tests filled with just the right shade of lead, all the way to the edge without going over. I drove my less uptight friends crazy. And they drove me crazy in turn.

These days, I'm not quite so anal. I leave the bed unmade and clothes on the floor--although, the bed covers have to be straightened and distributed evenly at bedtime if I am to sleep well.

I guess I'm still a perfectionist at heart, which isn't such a bad gig. Perfectionism drove me to study hard in school, to meet every failure and criticism with a "try harder" attitude. Perfectionism means I take on a project and strive to do it better than anyone else. It's when I can't that feelings of inadequacy creep in.

Desperate to sell the piles of beaded jewelry that I've made that are now taking over the house, I started my own online store at (You can see it at I took special care to photograph each piece on a black velvet neck form, making sure the pictures turned out just right. I wrote good descriptions. Then I visited other jewelry stores on Etsy and almost immediately regretted opening my shop. Their pictures were magazine quality, their designs better, their prices lower, and with free shipping! I was devastated.

The status of my novel is bothering me as well. Still no word from half the agents I've queried. A copy of my manuscript still sits at my mother's house, practically untouched. After asking me every other week when I would finish it, my mom isn't going to read it, my greatest accomplishment aside from earning my B.A. (I know I said it was ok, but I'm upset! What do you expect? What do you want me to say?!)

My best friend said she would call me this past Saturday. She didn't. I don't even think she realized she forgot.

I haven't done squat in the house in the past few days, except to finish some jewelry and set up my store. It's like I'm swimming in quicksand, unable to get anywhere with anything. I feel like nothing I do is good enough to succeed. How do I fix it? I don't know.


C. Beth said...

Hey, I checked out your Etsy shop---I really like Victoria & Snazzy. Very pretty!

I just gave you another One-Minute Writing of the Day award, for 3/20. Congrats!

-C. Beth

April said...

Thanks, Beth! I love your blog.

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