Stellar Chariot

By Arun Neelakandan

Good Enough

I have an issue. I get stuck when working on personal projects because I think my work isn’t good enough. I try desperately to overcome this molehill but seldom do I succeed.

This very website drew its first breath years later than it should’ve – plainly because whatever design, whatever domain name I conceived, was simply not good enough. I must’ve gone through hundreds of domain name ideas and several design mockups, hundreds of thumbnail sketches until I finally decided to set aside my perfectionist tendencies and just fucking do it. In fact, when this website was launched, I picked an existing website design/theme and went with it. Yes, I know it’s not great even now, but it’s better than nothing. You know what else? I knew well during my dilly-dallying that the content mattered more than a shiny, bespoke design that virtually no one is going to bestow much attention to – yet I still delayed things, paralysed through overanalysis and outwardly ridiculous thresholds for quality.

Notably though, I’ll swallow the bittersweet pill of imperfection if there’s a deadline – but only if the deadline is set by a somewhat impersonal entity such an acquaintance, employer or university/school. Then not only do I get shit done and on time, but with a high calibre of output (or so I’m often told). What upsets me is my incongruence in applying this deadline strategy: If I’m doing work for a close friend or family member, then I’m often afflicted by the disease of oh, it’s okay if I can stretch the deadline get a better result or they’ll forgive me even if I take a long time and actually finish up procrastinating. Mo’ time, mo’ problems y’all.

So what prompted me to write this blog post? I was trying to compose a rap song and got stuck after a few bars (lines) and I couldn’t go past this sticking point. I wrote many other lines independently, but couldn’t stitch the other parts with the part I was flummoxed with. Nothing sounded right or good enough. After what felt like an age (I swear I felt my beard grow a few millimetres), I tapped out, mentally exhausted and frustrated about why I couldn’t break through.

Why am I writing this blog post? Because I haven’t written anything in a while.

P.S. This is all despite me having steadily shed my perfectionist inclinations since the mid-noughties.

P.P.S: I actually wrote this post on 28th December 2013 at approximately 6:15pm. I’m only publishing it now (7th May 2014) after months of neglect. Oh, the irony!