Your Personal Best

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.


  1. I have this problem sometimes. I will fiddle with something (a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter) for hours trying to get it right. Half the time I end up putting it back the way it started anyways. lol.

  2. Excellent post, since I am an obsessed perfectionist. I think it is true, that we can hide behind the idea of perfection.

  3. Alyson: I know what you mean! I make twenty changes and then end up reversion about 19.9 of them.

    Donna: Don't let it stop you from writing. Your prose is awesome; it would be a shame if your idea of perfection kept you from sharing it.