Fight Against Writer’s Block | How To Harness Perfectionism
Let’s say that you’re writing your newest book with a passion. You sit down with a coffee at hand and open your wordprocessor, prepared to start writing.
You write the first paragraphs when suddenly, you feel something terrible inside. The words you just wrote slowly start seeming terrible.
You start seeing errors and mistakes in every single word you write. Slowly, you stop writing because you fear your next words being garbage.
Well, if you’ve ever written before, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
One of the strongest things creating Writer’s Block is perfectionism. It’s a plague that haunts our minds whenever we try to be productive. It’s a mix of fear of failure and doubt in ourselves. This is a natural thing to occur, but if left unchecked, it can ruin our progress or even our entire books.
But I’m going to share some tips with you that I use to fight against my perfectionist side.
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Writer’s Block has many elements and sides. There’s procrastination, perfectionism and many more and they all create the challenge of writing and making progress.
But out of all the things Writer’s Block can throw upon us, perfectionism can be the worst, at least I think so.
Perfectionism can keep us from writing because we expect only the best, not taking to count that we too are just humans. We have flaws and our first drafts, no matter how good, will never be perfect. They’re flawed in almost every way, with grammar, with structure…
But let me tell you something that might help you:
First drafts can be shitty and flawed. It’s kind of their signature element.
First drafts are like a sketch. They’re fast, kind of messy, yet give the basic structure to the upcoming masterpiece.
This is something I’ve just recently accepted and noticed. It immediately made me calmer and accepting of my flawed writing.
Perfectionism requires us to write only perfect things, but if we can accept the fact that we don’t even have to do that during your first draft, we will instantly free ourselves from those chains and allow us to truly write the story we want to write.
During your first draft, you don’t have to worry about grammar, cliches, structure, or anything. Just like an artist, your mission is to use your first draft as the messy sketch. Later on, you will start polishing it, but you can’t polish something that doesn’t exist, right?
This is a trick you can use to fight against perfectionism during your writing of your first draft. Just shut down it completely.
I know it might be hard and it probably is in the beginning. If you’re like me, a total perfectionist, it can feel unnatural not to criticise every single word, but trust me, after you turn off your perfectionist mind, you will feel such freedom you get addicted to! This is an eternal fight you must win in order to thrive creatively!
Turning Perfectionism Into An Ally
But, perfectionism will affect your creative ambitions in so many other ways. One day you’ll finish your first draft and you’ll enter the next phase, editing.
This is where perfectionism can become an ally, though it still must be monitored closely, for if allowed too much freedom, perfectionism can destroy your whole story.
While editing, you can allow yourself to be critical of your writing. It’s kind of the point, to notice the flaws and mistakes in order to fix them, thus, making your story better.
It’s important to remember that perfectionism shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself. This is something that can happen almost without noticing. When you read your work, you can start talking to yourself in a negative tone.
You can start doubting yourself and your abilities as a writer, but whenever this happens, you must pull your perfectionist side away from yourself in order to focus solely on the work you’re editing.
Perfectionism should become your ally. You should thrive to rid yourself from its negative effects in order to use it to make yourself, and you work, better in general.
Accepting Flaws And Freeing Yourself
This can be easier said than done. We all have those days when we just feel like we don’t deserve to be called authors. There are those days when we feel as if we never even had a skill with words.
But those days are totally natural and there is nothing you should be ashamed about. I too have fears and doubts about my work and my skills are a writer. Perfectionism can make those doubts ten times worse, but that’s exactly why it is so important to keep it in check.
I’ve noticed that humility is a great tool to lower your self-doubt. For example, I’ve accepted the fact that I’ve done mistakes and that I will still do them till I die. I’ve accepted the fact that my books won’t be perfect, but at the same time, I have the burning desire to improve.
This leads me to read about writing, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, watching videos, and improving myself. Creating a positive mindset is also important and incredibly powerful.
When you let go of the desire to be perfect in order to succeed, you will become the greatest writer you could ever be.
And thus, we arrive at the end of this post.
Hopefully, you found this helpful and inspiring. It was inspiring for me to write and I really enjoy talking about these creative subjects.
If you enjoyed this post and want to read more of my work, follow my blog and share this post with your fellow writers.
If you have any questions or ideas, send me an email! I’d be happy to help you and I’m always open to ideas and suggestions!
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Have a blessed day and I’ll see you very soon!
May your days be filled with inspiration!