January 13, 2023Creative Living

#83: The #1 Enemy of a Creative’s Productivity

There's a chapter in Jane Eyre where Eyre showed Mr. Rochester her watercolor paintings. She recounted how she worked on one of her masterpieces from morning till noon—and noon till night—during vacation. Mr. Rochester inquired, “And you felt self-satisfied with the result of your ardent labors?”

“Far from it. I was tormented by the contrast between my idea and my handiwork: in each case I had imagined something which I was quite powerless to realize,” answered Eyre.

Mr. Rochester agreed, ”Not quite: you have secured the shadow of your thought but no more, probably...”

This excerpt reminded me that we can spend all our hours, tears, and effort perfecting a piece yet still fall short and fail to fully flesh out the song, the art, the dance, and the work the way we have imagined it would turn out.

And that's okay. Because if we let our expectations hinder us from taking action, no art will get done.

Perfectionism is the enemy of productivity.

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Hi, and thanks for reading! I'm Kishly, a cheerleader of creatives and copywriter turned marketing strategist. Bookmark this blog to read my daily atomic essays on marketing, compassionate productivity, creative living, and lifelong learning. Or subscribe to Process, my weekly-ish newsletter for young adults (and the young at heart) in pursuit of wisdom and wonder. ✨

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