Welcome to Zwischenraum
New blogs are a bear to write for.
More specifically, intro posts crafted, ostensibly, to convince you that coming back regularly to read this blog is a good use of your probably very limited free time. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been a freelance blogger for nearly ten years, have written for and consulted on brand blogs, and have even spoken at blogging conferences and taught classes to budding bloggers. New blogs are different, and this one even more so.
Because it’s mine.
If you’ve ever had a freelance creative in your life, you’ve probably heard him or her talk about the feast-or-famine nature of this work, and how easy it is to set aside what you most love to create for the sake of completing projects for a client. Maybe you’re a freelance creative yourself, nodding at your screen right now, thinking about that half-completed novel, painting, comic book, necklace, [fill in the blank] that’s been perched on the edge of your desk, like an angry gargoyle in a cathedral, while you’ve been busy doing practical things like responding to e-mails, putting together proposals, or, you know, paying your bills.
It’s not that this mind-set is inherently negative; I care about giving my clients the best possible experience and want to turn in great work. But consistently putting my ideas on the back burner means that I sacrifice my personal creativity. . . . And those personal projects just happen to be one of the reasons I went into a creative field in the first place.
There’s also the element of procrastination: the writer—whether novelist, journalist, ad writer, and even freelance blogger—are some of the biggest putter-offers in the universe. And then there’s Make It Perfect Syndrome, an equal-opportunity affliction of self-motivated types in a wide range of industries. Why, we tell ourselves, would we toss up something online for the whole world to (possibly) see if we didn’t think it was absolute perfection?
No matter which way I try to spin these explanations—for what amounts to dragging my feet till they’re raw and bleeding—the truth is that they all come from the same source: fear. Fear that I won’t be as good as I once was, during my self-perceived “golden years” of constant creative output in grad school (never mind that the work itself was, in hindsight, often less than genius). Fear that whatever I wrote wouldn’t come out the way I’d envisioned and I’d feel too discouraged to ever tap away on a keyboard again. Fear that nobody would read what I wrote, or, worse, that what I came up with wouldn’t be worth reading.
These outcomes are, of course, all possible. They’re also, for someone who gives the proverbial shit about the quality of their work, about as likely as an episode of The Walking Dead that doesn’t include a gleeful display of flying brain scraps and oozing entrails. And much as I’d like to think that everything I create is brilliant, stunningly original, and flawless, and that if I just wait another day, another hour, another millisecond, I’ll have The Staggering Idea to End All Staggering Ideas, the reality is that I spend way too much time ruminating and not enough doing, there is no perfect, and done beats perfect every time.
So welcome to Zwischenraum, a blog that will never be perfect, but that will bring a different perspective to what’s going on in the creative world—both interior and exterior. Bookmark me and check me out a couple times a month, or else sign up to have updates delivered straight to your in-box.