Perfectionism Strikes Again!

You’d think that I would have learned by now that Monday morning isn’t the best time to brainstorm ideas for a new post.  I’ve started three separate posts over the course of the morning, all of which will take more time than my self imposed deadline.  One needs a picture that I will have to go out and get, one needs a lot more fleshing out before it even begins to make sense, and one’s a rant that will probably never see the light of day but felt great writing and getting out of my system.

Which leaves us here with a post about why I’m not writing a better post. It’s like the Inception of blog posts.

Perfectionism is helpful is many ways, it pushes us to strive towards something better and greater than we have already done and teaches us more than we would if we choose to stay at our current level.

However, perfectionism can be very harmful as well.  I know of many authors who have a terrific book they’ve written but continue to edit and rewrite it because they are seeking a level of perfection that doesn’t exist.  I might be one of them… There comes a point when you have to admit to yourself when something is good enough to be released into the world.

Perfectionism also stalls creativity and action.  If we continually fear to do something because we know we can’t do it perfectly, then we will never start, or if we do start we will move forward at a crawl fearing that we might misstep along the way.  When this happens we stop enjoying working on the project because of the continual feeling that we might be doing something wrong.

Good news – pencils have erasers, there is a backspace button, almost everything cleans up with a little soap, and ouchies (both emotional and physical) will get better.

In the words of Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

Or Flylady, “Progress, not perfection.”


What do you stall about doing because you fear you won’t do it right?


6 thoughts on “Perfectionism Strikes Again!

  1. Everything I write takes too many hours because I write, edit and rewrite. Never completely satisfied that I wrote it using all the best or most powerful words. I finally click post just because of my self imposed deadlines. It I didn’t set deadlines I would never post.


    • Amen for deadlines! In the beginning I spent hours and hours sweating over blog posts and now I guess either I’ve learned to go through the process much faster – or I’ve gotten tired and stopped worrying so much about each comma and phrase. I’m hoping it’s because I’ve gotten better. 🙂


  2. I beat my manuscripts into submission with sometimes 30 drafts. I intend to not do that anymore. Maybe.

    Your intro reminded me of the Tenacious D song about the best song in the world, which is never described or excerpted because they forgot how it goes. We just have to trust them that the song they are singing about can’t be topped.


      • My crucial problem is everu word must be perfect before I show anyone. Maybe I’ll let an editor take a crack at it sooner this time.


      • That is a problem, but I’m exactly the same way. It’s been tough letting people from my critique group see material that I haven’t dissected a few dozen times.


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