“It takes a village.”
I’ve heard this phrase my whole life, though I never put too much stock into it. It was just a thing that people say. However, over the past few months, I’ve had to come to grips with the absolute truth of this old saying – which was not an easy thing for me to do.
I’m a performance-based person. I place my worth in how well I perform in this area or that (God and I are working on it, but it’s slow going). If I need something done, I need to do it myself and it needs to be done to perfection if that’s what is expected of me.
There’s one problem with that. I am not a perfect person. In fact, I’m very bad with my hands and prone to accidents. Give me a paintbrush and I MIGHT give you a painting that rivals my pre-k fingerprinting masterpiece. Give me a hammer and a nail, I’ll give you a bruised thumb. Give me a bunch of flowers and a vase, I’ll give you an arrangement that looks like something akin nature vomit.
So you can imagine the root of a lot of my anxiety in life. I’m a perfectionist who has poor motor skills. However, give me a pen and paper with a chance to use my mind, and I’ll be a happy girl. My books are where I find a lot of my validation (not a good source, might I add), because I created them all by myself. They may not be great, but from start to finish, they’re products of my imagination. Mine mine mine!
However, you cannot create, edit, market, and publish a book all by yourself. I’m learning this more and more with each Beta reader that sends a report back to me. Because on my own I’m not all that great at proper grammar, character consistency, and a host of other things. It’s damaged my pride a good bit, but it’s opened my eyes to one universal truth.
It takes a village. It always has. Even in the days before I posted stories online, my mother was there to painfully read through my binders full of scribbled stories.
Lindsey has been by my side since the very beginning. We’re talking those Wattpad days before I believed in editing or character arcs.
Sefa was there to make sure I was properly equipped when it came to arguing with the critics… who were probably right but I won those arguments, anyway.
Lydia and Hannah were my cheerleaders and I’d be remiss if I didn’t give them a shoutout for how often they read my manuscripts.
Mrs. Julie gave me the tough love I needed when it came to grammar – she still does and I love her to death for it. No one has invested more time into my writing skills than Mrs. Julie!
All the time, these ladies were beside me putting in some hard work while I trotted about pretending I did something all by myself. But we never do anything alone.
Let me tell you this, ever since I opened up and started accepting help with open arms, things have gone so much more smoothly. While it sends a bit of a pang through my performance-based heart, I am beginning to see the uncertainty and anxiety about my abilities chip away. Because for whatever reason, knowing I have a village around me makes me feel more invincible than trying to stand alone.
Do you have a village? Tell them how thankful you are for them, and don’t let them go unnoticed! Learn how to receive help – even if it hurts your pride a bit.
A Recovering Perfectionist.