Ugh, I am having so much trouble typing this today! Why can't I just type something, anything? I want to convey my messages in a precise way. I want to do it clean and simple while looking like I am SOMEWHAT of the writer I say I am. (I was just going to type the writer I "pretend to be")!
I am letting perfection (or thoughts of it) still my quivering pen. A lot of us do it. We stare at the page and want to begin in JUST the right way the first time out. Stop it! You must write something to edit. Fidgeting with a single sentence is a great way to waste a precious day.
It is important to do your personal best but, sometimes, it is at odds with perfectionism. Any time your need to "write right" freezes you indefinitely instead of propels you, you're letting perfection quiet you. When everyone (even your harshest critics) says your story is ready and you delay it more than six months after, though you may have found something they didn't, you're most likely having perfectionist problems.
I am not saying to stop trying to improve. We can always get better, no matter where we are in our writing careers. It is important to always learn new things, try new techniques, etc. But, never let perfectionism stop you from creating; creating is wonderful and messy and raw and powerful. Don't take away the joy.
And, don't hide behind your need for something to be perfect to delay having to work on anything else or show it to others. We do that sometimes.