For most writers, a little perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The drive to create stories, poems, essays, and books that are perfect can propel a writer’s skills from “just okay” to “stellar”—and ultimately publishable.
But perfectionism also has a dark side: If you’re a perfectionist writer, you probably agonize over every word each step of the way. Your inner critic is an ogre. No matter how often you rewrite and revise, you’re unable to accept that a given piece is done, and so you don’t submit it for publication. Or maybe you shy away from sharing your writing at all, convinced of its inadequacies. The process that should be a fun, joyful, and creative experience instead becomes fraught with worry and imagined disapproval. When perfectionism is at its worst, it leads to writer’s block (Such as: If I can’t write anything good, I won’t write at all).
When the pressure to be perfect is overwhelming, try some of these encouraging techniques.