I've been inspired by Taylor Swift's songwriting for over five years now. And Cardigan, with its poetic lyrics and magical music video, is my current favorite song. But it was this message that came along with the surprise release of Folklore that touched me most personally.
When you have anxiety, it's hard not to obsess over the idea of perfection. And it's something a lot of us creatives strive for. Writers work so hard to get our writing to match the "perfect" idea in our head. Stories often being torn apart and stitched back together in the name of editing. But I have long believed inspired, heart-felt, raw creation was my personal ideal.
Obviously, everything needs to be cleaned up a little bit. Typos fixed, some wording adjustments. Often a bit of added description to enrich the scene, in my case. But I fear over-editing. I fear losing the heart of a story for the sake of perfection. I want raw emotion over perfect writing "craft". And to cherish the spark that makes my work unique, instead of trying to match genre expectations or proven formulas.
But I worry the world isn't willing to embrace that. And I worry I will never fit in with the writing community, or be able to market my books successfully. I don't want to be a brand. I don't want to be a public figure. I admire those who can keep up with engaging online content, while writing their hearts out and "crushing" their goals. They are amazing humans, who work hard for everything they accomplish.
But that's not me. I can't push myself without breaking. It's not in my nature to compete with others, to challenge myself with deadlines, or to fit in with the crowd. I like talking about writing and stories I love. I like being open and honest with those who read my posts. But I'm a person, not a brand. Writing is not a job to me. I can't handle that pressure. Writing is a soul calling that I desperately need to follow for my own mental health.
So, I'm not here to write you a perfect story, carefully crafted and packaged with an ideal audience in mind. My only goal now is to make something I love and put it out into the world. I promise you I will pour my heart and soul into it. I hope that will be enough.