Finding Balance and Battling “Perfection”

Today I’m feeling really, really overwhelmed.  You know those days where you wake up, full of fire only to get a little bit in the day and all of a sudden feel crushed by the demands of life?  Yeah, that’s been this week for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, but like anyone else my commitments are really adding up.

I’m currently finishing my last semester of school.  I’ve thought long and hard, and prayed long and hard about what I’m supposed to do with my life and I’ve been feeling very strongly that I need to follow my dream of being a writer.  So I’m currently working on putting together a free ebook of some of my poems, creating a website to showcase my work (which I am so so so so excited about), working on a youtube video series of my poems, finishing up a script for my senior project, and posting once a week in this blog.  Add two kids under the age of three on top of that, a part time job and 15 credits of school and you have one guy who’s probably doing too much.

Then today, after having a morning prayer, I received an impression that I need to post more in this blog.


That was my first response.  How could I?  I don’t have time!  I thought. But if I’m honest with myself, it’s not really about time (honestly, it’s amazing what you can accomplish with writing in just an hour or two a day) it’s about overcoming my own personal insecurities.  The biggest problem with trying to handle all of these writing projects is my anxiety  that happens even before I even start working on them.  What if they stink?  They need to be perfect and perfectly written in the perfect manner!   I have a list of things I’ve wanted to blog about for weeks but haven’t yet because in my mind they have to be superbly crafted and perfectly stated.

But, then it hit me- the whole concept of “perfection” in writing just doesn’t exist.  Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games trilogy has been blasted by some for it’s short sentences and lack of lyrical depth, yet it’s story had influenced the lives of millions, R.L. Stine has some of the silliest books with some of the strangest plots but his books captured the imaginations of millions of youth (mine included, yes I was a big Goosebumps fan growing up), EVEN the ancient writers of the Book of Mormon feared weakness in their writing,

“…wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.” -Ether 12:25

Yet their writing, and other’s writing, and all others talents, while imperfect, can make a big difference and be a benefit to the world.  I suppose that’s the better standard to strive to.  Just trying to make a difference.  I’m not saying that my writing will ever reach the level of influence as some of the authors listed above, but I do think, no matter how many read or don’t read, it’s still worth sharing and working on.

In other words, I’m going to be posting twice a week now (probably Tuesday and Thursdays, since I don’t have school those days.)  I guess I could’ve just written that…but you know….  🙂

Best wishes!


P.S.  A while ago I wrote a little poem that touches on some of themes I just blogged about, this poem is going to be in my free ebook, but I figure I’ll post it here too, excuse the formatting, WordPress is being weird for some reason…:

The carpenter who could craft so well

But victim to his sleep he fell

And napped away his golden time

Which slowly drained him from his prime


Or the sculptor who feared what they’d say

And hid his statues deep away

Never letting another see

What he made, in its beauty


Or the writer with such great direction;

Beaten by her sought perfection

That killed her stories one by one

And left them all sadly undone


And so the world did pay the cost

Of never seeing their sweet thoughts

To nothingness, their work was tossed

And our God wept for talent lost.

-©Alex J Barlow



2 thoughts on “Finding Balance and Battling “Perfection”

  1. Kurt Barlow

    Alex, Just wanted to say I love this idea! You are a very talented writer. Follow your dreams brother and most importantly keep following the promptings you receive through your prayers. Thanks for being an awesome example. Also we need to hang out soon.
    Love, your favorite older brother 🙂


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