perfectionism, microjournaling, & categories of the self
[Friday link party]
If you didn’t know, I love video essays
Here’s a few that stood out to me lately, because articles are not the only kind of links I can curate for you, dear reader!
🔥 The Dialectics of Rick & Morty by CJ the X
CJ the X is chaotic in the best way, and the first 15 minutes of this video are a fantastic analysis of perfectionism in the creative process, using the creators of Rick & Morty as an example of the constant struggle between analysis and intuition.
From now on when I feel the familiar tug of perfectionism on my sleeve I will hear CJ in my head shouting, “YOU’RE IN SERVICE OF THE ETERNAL!” (Side note: does anyone else think of creativity as a divine force for which they are but a mere vessel because I always do??)
“Perfectionism is not something to aspire to, it’s a disease that kills creativity. When you’re afraid of starting something for fear of its potential theoretical inadequacy, the concern isn’t for bad art existing, the concern is what you’re making means about you. You want to be the person that’s good at art, you want to be a genius…essentially you care more about your pride than you care about the art. That’s not gonna prime a productive creative process, that’s going to prime you bending over backwards to satiate your insecurities, which you will never succeed in doing…Don’t negotiate with terrorists. Your ego is a terrorist. When your fear of creating something stupid or bad prevents you from creating at all, you’re not serving anyone but your own feelings. Because everyone makes stupid and bad things. That’s how you make good things.”
📝 I Replaced Social Media with Micro-Journalling for 1 Year by Struthless
I’m trying this while I take an extended IG hiatus! Cam says it made his memory better, and he was able to self-reflect more. I realized this is what I was doing on my IG stories, except, I was showing this stuff to the whole world, and I don’t have to. It’s probably better to keep most of it to myself, and then use the insights I glean in my work later.
I have tried this before but I always tried to find like, the perfect app for it, and one suggestion from this video that’s making it much easier is just using my silly little notes app. Using the tools you already use everyday is like a little habit-making headstart.
📚 Why You Stopped Reading by Answer in Progress
This is not applicable to me because I read incessantly as my defense against the ever-encroaching existential dread but I hear this lament about not reading books anymore from people all the time, and this video points out that there are 3 common motivations for reading: evolution (like, self-improvement), education, and escape.
Sometimes we’re trying to read things we’re not motivated by, which explains why I can’t always pay attention to fiction but I can devour some academic text on psychiatry, no problem. My reading is primarily motivated by education, not escape. Helpful to know!
🌭 What Isn’t a Video Essay? by What’s So Great About That
This is about genre, but it’s also about categories and boundaries and identity, and it inspired half an hour of heated debate between by partner and I on whether a hot dog is a sandwich or not. (I would argue that it is a sub-category of sandwich, and if you say it’s not, then you have to start re-assessing the sandwich status of Philly cheesesteaks and meatball sandwiches, both of which are also meat in a breadboat, to which my partner argues that a meatball sandwich is not a sandwich, and neither is a burger, and I just can’t even get into that right now!!)
Grace wonders aloud if identifying and categorizing is what makes us human, and muses on the possibilities and limitations of this when it comes to the self:
“Using labels responsibly and in moderation doesn’t need to be a final definitive declaration of all you are. But they can be a useful path towards understanding your feelings or experiences, or relating to others, and crucially, giving us a language to bridge the gaps, or maybe to expose the gaps, to give us space to exist inside them…By seeing what happens if we reconsider and relabel, categorization need not simply be a tool to flatten or simplify, it can allow us to see beyond one fixed perspective.”
🗞 In psych news lately:
A study found that 52% of ADHD TikToks contain misinformation (as I have been screaming into the void for a while now!) which includes oversimplifications, unsupported treatments, and calling random things like having a junk drawer or keeping too much garbage in your purse symptoms, which TikTokers have ominously dubbed “doomboxes”
They’re trying to develop an antipsychotic you can take once a week to make people more compliant with their meds, inspired by a new kind of contraceptive
Researchers discover that touch reduces distress and helps people recover from trauma - another point for the theory of co-regulation!
A surprisingly balanced piece in Wired about the death of the DSM and the future of psych diagnostics, including alternative models like HiTOP and the Power Threat Meaning Framework