Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Lesson Learned from Beyonce on Inauguration Day

By now, you're aware that Beyonce showcased a flawless rendition of the National Anthem during President Barack Obama's second inauguration a few weeks ago. I'm not even a fan of hers, but was so impressed I felt compelled to Tweet  my accolades.

 "Nice job, Bey."

Then it came out that Beyonce was actually lip-syncing. Her reasoning? She's a perfectionist and did not have an opportunity to rehearse with the band, so she opted for a track. I took to Twitter with my reaction on this as well:

"I would've preferred a less-than-perfect version sung live than a perfect-sounding track #anthem"
I can overlook a missed note here, a little raspiness there...for the sake of realness.  Authenticity. And even on her worse day -- no rehearsal, in the snow, fighting the flu -- that girl can surely still sing better than me and 75% of the world.

So yeah, needless to say, I've been pretty critical of the situation. But I just realized I've been doing the same thing for which I criticized Beyonce.

I've been writing this blog since December 6, 2007. Five years. Longer than my longest relationship. Longer than my longest job. Longer than I've been on a diet. This could very well be one of the longest-running anythings I've ever done.

I started out posting every week -- Thursdays -- and my standards were sky high. I published full-length, well-researched columns. I conducted interviews and spent hours in the library or Barnes and Noble learning about my weekly topic. I was essentially doing for free what would be my dream to do for a living -- write about what interests, fascinates, and puzzles you and me. Relationships, maturing, work life.

By the grace of God, there was some money. And exposure. Like a testing ground, all of my articles for The Root began right here.

But before long, my day job and other activities caught up with me. I could no longer sustain a weekly column.

Actually, let me correct that. I could continue to post weekly. Hell, I could post every day with the constant parade of ideas in my brain. But it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain my standard -- a standard of perfection -- on a weekly basis, while working full time (and getting into shenanigans). So, I went monthly. For the most part, I've maintained that. Until now.

This right 'chere has been the longest span of postlessness in DelectConnect history. There are a couple reasons why. For one, the perfection. For every blog you see here, there are at least five that I excitedly started writing...then I got the notion that nobody wanted to read my stupid dribble. I've learned this paranoia is typical of writers, but I think I have an extreme case.

Secondly, I was already behind when my aunt's battle with cancer took a turn for the worse in December 2012. She passed away the Thursday before Christmas. It was a rough blow. I know we all have aunts and uncles that we're not particularly close to, but this woman and I were kindred spirits. (I interviewed her for "Worth the Woo.") I've been writing about her influence on me the past few weeks. Hopefully, you'll see it here.

So, a la Gloria Estefan, I think I'm coming out of the dark. I also think I'll practice what I preach about Beyonce at the Inauguration. This year, I'll trade in fifty-leven rewrites in order to maintain more frequency on the Connect.

To prove it, I will scroll back up to the top and read through this one time...and publish.

1 comment:

Me said...

For the record, I DID only read through this ONE TIME and publish. First time ever. Usually I have to stop. Think about it. Sleep on it. Come back in a week. Tweak.

This behavior has been paralyzing in many aspects of my life. Second-guessing yourself at every turn. And funny thing is, I'm not a perfectionist. It's more about fear than perfection. Or maybe those two are connected. (Uh oh...sense another column coming on...)