How To OVERCOME Perfectionism


How many of us can correctly spell "perfectionism"?


Unfortunately, it's a long word that many writers are familiar with.


Out of curiosity, I decided to look up the exact definition of "perfectionism." Google defines it as "refusal to accept any standard short of perfection."


Are you a perfectionist in your writing?


Today, I'll show you how to OVERCOME perfectionism in your own writing life!


Let's get started!

THE STRUGGLE WITH PERFECTIONISM

I know there are some writers out there who really struggle with making their book perfect. Some writers edit while they write.


Even if you don't edit while working on your first draft, you probably still have a little voice inside of you that likes to critique your writing, whether you're working on the first draft or the last draft.


Some writers might 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. I know that whenever I show someone my writing, I like to remind them that it's a ROUGH DRAFT, and that's why it's not perfect!


To be brutally honest, that's just pride. I'll be the first to admit that I struggle with pride sometimes. If my writing isn't perfect, I want to make sure the person I'm sharing it with knows it's not perfect. I want them to know that I can write better than this.


Criticism is a big factor when struggling with perfectionism. Receiving critique on our writing is hard sometimes. Stress and pressure also pertain to perfectionism. Some writers are stressed with the fact that people are going to judge their writing.


Let's dig into why writers don't have to be scared of not being perfect.

3 REASONS WRITERS SHOULDN'T BE SCARED OF IMPERFECTION

1. Opinions don't matter.


Maybe you don't want to get published just yet, but you share your writing with family or friends. Maybe they didn't like what you wrote, and 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 ultimately, the first person you should be writing for is yourself.


Enjoy the process. Pray and ask God to help you. Write because God gave you this 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. It's a part of you!


Friends, your writing doesn't define you. You could have horrible inward character and amazing writing, or amazing inward character and horrible writing. The two of you are not the same thing.


Each person is a separate and unique gift from God, and each person has different talents and abilities. Maybe you aren't as good of a writer as the next person. Maybe you are.


But your writing doesn't define you.


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. I've struggled with this too.


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.


You might be thinking that sounds obvious and stupid, but it's true. You aren't going to write a perfect rough draft. A rough draft is rough, but it's a start. You have to start somewhere.


Focus on improving your craft, not perfecting it. 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 advantage of the opportunities to step outside your comfort zone and learn something new!


Don’t let the fear of not being perfect keep you from writing. Write for yourself first.

Are you a perfectionist? Did this post encourage you? What do YOU do when you feel the pressure of perfectionism?


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4 comments:

  1. This was encouraging, Julia! I am a perfectionist with literally anything. But, it comes out a lot more with school and writing. When I write (both in my free time + school), I have this sudden urge to edit it because I see it as imperfect. It is so hard for me to move along! I always get nervous when I ask my teachers to read over my paragraph(s)for an assignment because I think they will immediately say it's bad. Nonetheless, it has not stopped me from writing!I couldn't picture my life without blogging and experimenting with writing. :D

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    1. I totally understand that, Heaven! Perfectionism can be so hard! I'm so glad it hasn't stopped you from writing and experimenting! That's so awesome! There are definitely some projects you should do just for fun and just for yourself. :D

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  2. Julia, perfectionism is something I've struggled with a lot in the past, and this post was filled with such great reminders! Thank you! :)

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