Sometimes Waiting is Dumb

We wait for the bus. We wait for our sleeping babies to wake up from their naps. We wait for the oven to pre-heat.

These aren’t dumb things to wait for.

But often, subconsciously, we wait to create.

This is dumb.

We are so prone to perfectionism in our society. I’d wager that most people would call themselves “perfectionists” if it was described the right way. This is not a select group of people who have this trait. It’s a unifying epidemic in our culture. The expectation for whatever you offer to the world is that it should be perfect. Excellent. Without blemish. The final draft.

I’m not actually arguing with this concept. Because when you present your creation to the professional people expecting the best, I would certainly hope that its the best version you can come up with. But final drafts are not first drafts. The word final implies that there was a first. An initial. Our ego confuses the result with the value of the process and we fixate on the imperfections that roll around in our mind. So we hesitate. We wait to put pen to paper until we have developed enough or have become disciplined enough or until we craft the perfect rhyme.

I had a poetry teacher in college who brilliantly exhorted us to “kill the inner editor.” Best writing advice I’ve ever been given. See I, like you, am prone to perfectionism. So I’d wait. I wouldn’t write a thing til I was convinced it was perfect. When I finally did write it, since my ego had decided it was perfect, I was closed off to criticism.

Guys, this is dumb. Don’t be dumb. Be smart. Go create. Give yourself space and grace to cultivate your ideas and craft them. Kill your inner editor and go do something. Maybe it’s karaoke somewhere before you’ve mastered your mix (which will take a lifetime by the way), maybe it’s to start that song idea you’ve thought about and play it for a trusted friend for feedback, maybe it’s to submit your rough demo to an artist developer for help. Just stop waiting for the stars to align or the inspiration to drop. Develop discipline and stop waiting around…Go do something!

To book a lesson with Shelby Rollins, contact or 615-866-1099.