Have you ever had to interview for a job and they ask you what your worst quality is? I was dumbfounded to be asked that at my first job interview. I’m here to sell myself and tell you just what a fabulous human being I am and make you believe that you’ll rue the day you didn’t hire me for this minimum wage job making sandwiches (oh yes, I was a sandwich artist) and you want me to tell you what I most suck at?
But I’m like a cat- I landed on my feet. (And I’m apparently full of cliches today. Just go with it.)
My greatest fault? I’m a perfectionist. Hard-core. If my house isn’t spotless, I have issues. If there’s a stack of papers waiting to be graded on my desk I become obsessed with getting through that pile as soon as possible. If there’s a plot issue in my book it will haunt me until I find a solution.
All of these can be good things- no one is ever grossed out coming to my house, my students get feedback on their work as soon as is humanly possible, and I keep plugging away at my novel. But there are also a lot of drawbacks.
I can’t relax. I have too much to do. Even my pile of books I want to read sit in their corner, taunting me with my failure to get to them. And I’ve noticed this nasty little trait is getting worse. I’ve only got three more years until I’m the age my mom was when she died. It’s like a ticking time bomb, a constant reminder of all the things I want to do before I die.
Before you think I’m crazy (I am, but it’s not certifiable. Yet.), I don’t think I’m going to actually die in three years. I just always told myself I’d get the big stuff out of the way just in case I don’t live to be 105 torturing my great-great-great-grandchildren by pulling my dentures out and chasing them around the house with my walker.
Anyways, what I think I’m trying to get at is that I have a great motivator to get my book done and travel the world, but it really doesn’t mesh well with the perfectionist in me. I seriously need an extra five hours a day to accomplish everything I want to at any given time. Because it all has to be perfect. The first time.
So, do you have a trait that gets in the way of your writing? Or something strange that motivates you?