Death to perfectionism


Death to perfectionism

Putting to rout all that was not life


A year ago on October 24th 2017 I bought the domain When I first had the idea of starting a blog, it was because I wanted to write. The whole scenario worked out like this, minus Chris Messina. I wanted to visit places and take lush photographs like Homestead Brooklyn, report and write like Civil Eats, and document the process like Trash is for Tossers. I imagined myself as a PI in the underbelly of pristine Singapore, figuratively and literally digging up dirt!


I’m proud and glad that I started AFOG instead of just thinking and talking about it. And a year after that first step, I can see how excitement, high expectations, and a fear of failure had a crippling effect. Perfectionism had me second-guessing everything and self-imposed delays meant that by the time I finally published a post, the person I interviewed had long forgotten our conversation. High quality content = professionalism, but it needs to work hand-in-hand with consistency and storytelling.

so what’s next?

I’m setting some parameters for myself in order to kill perfectionism, starting with fortnightly blog posts with weekly posts being ideal. If I can make time for long Netflix binges, I can make time to write. Next up: optimizing my work station and workflow. When a simple brighten-crop-export in Photoshop takes half an hour, it’s a problem. Ruthless decluttering and organizing have proven useful here. And the most important commitment of all: taking care of myself is every which way — physically, mentally, emotionally, you name it. Lately that means long and tiring-but-in-a-good-way nature walks with my camera and showering via candle light. I highly recommend both, especially showering via candle light which fits the end of October appropriately.

AFOG headquarters. Note the multiple light sources and the significance of the colour yellow.

AFOG headquarters. Note the multiple light sources and the significance of the colour yellow.

curb comparison with a metaphor
(<3 augustus waters)

Podcasts have been a delight and I’ve been devouring Matt D’Avella’s The Ground Up Show. All you need to know about Matt is that he talks to creatives about their journey and he’s trying to get The Rock on his podcast. On episode 83 Matt speaks to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits and an all-around smarty pants. To end this post, I’ll leave you with a simple but striking metaphor Clear gives about growth.

“If you were to take a seed and put it into the ground, you wouldn’t criticize it when it’s a seed [and] for not being a tree yet. And when it’s a sapling, you wouldn’t criticize it for being a sapling and not a full grown oak tree yet or whatever. At each stage of the process, it’s perfectly good at what it is. However, a plant also does not stop growing. It’s always growing, it’s always continuing to improve.”