Surprising myself…

13 Jun

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –

This post is part of the #trust30 writing initiative, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emersons “Self-reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.

You can find further details regarding the challenge here.

Writing prompt by Author Ashley Ambirge

Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself.  How will you surprise yourself this week?

At university, I was always one of the stragglers when it came to handing in essays and assignments. Up all night the day before it was due, usually rushing to see my lecturer paper-in-hand, five minutes before deadline.

I wasn’t a lazy-ass, I was a perfectionist, and would pore over papers laboriously, changing and editing for days until somehow it went back to resembling what I initially wrote in the first three hours.

I surprised myself again and again by actually managing to hand any work in!

It was a painful, frustrating process and led to a lot of self-doubt as I compared myself unfavourably to my peers, who somehow managed to complete work in half the time I did.  I think I spent most of my time in the Masters programme, feeling like an undeserving fraud, waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and gently usher me to the door.

I still struggle with ‘perfectitis’ and no where is it more evident than when it comes to writing. I have been writing secretly for years but only started publicly blogging in January.  My posts have been sporadic.  The creativity is there, but my inner critic is always stifling it, questioning it and rearranging its apparent shoddy composition.

I usually work on a post for an entire week before I find it worthy enough to be released.

So, why did I agree to join a challenge that required writing every day??

That’s where the surprise arrives…not completely unexpected but definitely welcome.

I have been almost writing every day and I have boldly or blithely hit the publish button with no dire consequences….yay!

Sometimes I enjoy what I have written and hope that others gain some value from it. Other times I remain dissatisfied  but I have surrendered to the process, surprised myself and have to say….it feels liberating!

My aim for the week and beyond…to keep writing and to keep surprising myself.

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


6 Responses to “Surprising myself…”

  1. TerryMurphy June 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    A site I use a lot, BizNik (for solopreneurs) allows edits of posts for 15 minutes. Now that is an idea I can get on board with.

    Write, throw caution to the wind and hit publish…and then recall and edit…:)

    Consider yourself well on top if you managed to get your papers in with minutes to spare. Mine were always in way ahead of the second or third extension.

    You can surprise yourself anytime, just by looking at 3 special little girls and wondering at how blessed you are.

    Thnx once more for well put words.

    • Kirri White June 16, 2011 at 7:19 am #

      Ahh see I never cornered the art of coming up with viable reasons for requesting extensions….That would have have my situation worse, I think!

      As for my cherubs…So true. I had a hand in that perfection and I marvel at that thought almost every day 🙂

  2. countingducks June 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    I often am a bit of a perfectionist but in other ways rather careless. It’s an odd mix to live with. Believing in yourself and suddenly finding out what you are capable of is one of the most rewarding discoveries we make about ourselves

    • Kirri White June 16, 2011 at 7:12 am #

      A careless perfectionist? I think I know what you mean…and I believe I’m the same.
      Here’s to uncovering more layers in the ongoing journey of self-discovery.
      As always, your comments are so appreciated.

  3. Romina Garcia June 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Great post!
    I surprise myself every day actually. I’ve reached a point in my life where I live day by day. I don’t look too far ahead into the future just in case it overwhelms me. Little by little I get there…and surprise myself as a result 🙂

    • Kirri White June 16, 2011 at 7:09 am #

      A great approach for life Romina. I do tend to be a bit of a ‘planner’ but acknowledge the importance of living in the moment and taking it day by day. Small steps to success! Your blog is a testament to your work…You know I’m a huge fan!

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