How to Overcome Perfectionism

by - February 10, 2019


Many writers have the mindset that people will judge them by their writing. If their writing is bad, people might think that they are incapable of writing well.

Today, I am going to try and get you out of that mindset and onto the right track.

WHY WRITERS THINK THEY NEED TO BE PERFECT

Actually, this goes for everyone, not just writers. Everyone thinks he (or she) must be perfect in order for people to like him. He won't have another chance to make a first impression.

For writers, this can be scary. If their books or pieces of writing are rejected, or receive low scores, the author's audience might not want to read books again by that author if it happens continuously.

There is one author whose book I tried to read. The book had received a medal, but at first, I didn't like the main character. The book ended up being pretty good. Then I tried another book from that author. I didn't like it, and so far, I haven't picked it back up. Does that mean I'll never read her books again? No, but maybe I'll have to choose a different book by her—one that really grabs my attention.

Even if a writer receives harsh criticism, it doesn't mean he can't learn from his mistakes. Often, we as the readers judge an author by the first or second books we read by them.

This is why writers think they must be perfect. Their audience will judge them by their works, and therefore, writers judge themselves.


3 REASONS WRITERS SHOULDN’T BE SCARED OF IMPERFECTION

1. Opinions don't matter.

Maybe you don't want to get published, but you share your writing with family or friends. If they don't like what you wrote, you feel discouraged.

Well, their opinion doesn't ultimately matter.

Wow, that's a big statement. But it's true. Their opinion can be valuable and sometimes quite helpful, but there's Someone greater that we should be seeking to please.

Yes, you guessed correctly! We should be seeking 
God's opinion because His opinion is what ultimately matters.

Now, when I say that man's opinion doesn't matter, I mean that if people reject your writing for any reason, but you really like it, that's okay! Write because God gave you the passion.

Write because you want to please Him.

Write because it's fun.

Write for yourself.



2. Your writing is not who you are.

You might think this is crazy because you are a writer. Writing is your passion; therefore, it is a part of you. But if you always thought of yourself as only a writer, you would forget the most important part: If you've accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are His child.

3. You simply won't be perfect.

Some writers think that if they aren't a perfect writer, then they aren't a good writer at all. Perfectionism pulls many writers into the mindset that they are horrible writers.

The truth is,
 you won't be perfect, no matter how hard you try. No matter how many books you read about writing or how many writing conferences you attend, you will improve—but you'll never be perfect.

So don't stress on the impossible! Only God is perfect. Focus on improving, not perfecting. What you're going through now (procrastination, writer's block, etc.) is what every writer has gone through at one time or another. You're not alone.

Enjoy the process of writing! There's always something new to learn. Take the opportunity of struggles to learn something new.

Don’t let the fear of being perfect keep you from writing



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So what about you? Are you a perfectionist? Are you good at overcoming perfectionism? What do YOU do when you feel the pressure of perfectionism?

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