Tag Archive - writing life

Ways Writers Can Combat Perfectionism

When you worry if what you’re writing will be “good enough,” here are some tips to help your brain change the self-talk:

Don’t wait for conditions to be perfect to get into your writing. Accept that whatever you write will never be perfect. Go for “complete.” Finish a scene or chapter. Let yourself feel the satisfaction of completion even while knowing your writing may need more work.

Instead of focusing on the finished product, try adopting the five steps of design thinking: discovery, interpretation, ideation, experimentation, and evolution.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to enjoy the journey. “Life is a journey, not a destination.” This is a saying that is hard for perfectionists to embrace. But if you are thinking only of the impossible destination, you won’t experience the joy of the process. You will hate your writing time, and then you’ll ask yourself: Why am I even writing in the first place? Continue Reading…

Is Your Procrastination a Symptom of Perfectionism?

Procrastination is often a symptom of perfectionism. Perfectionists, believing they can never complete a task perfectly, put it off as long as possible.

If a writer doesn’t attempt to finish her project, she can’t fail. She won’t be ridiculed or get bad reviews that will break her heart. The greater the fear of criticism, the more she will procrastinate.

Some people think procrastinators are plain lazy. They’re making excuses not to write because writing is hard. Well, many of us have moments when we feel that way.

I talked about this as well, in previous posts. We stare at the computer screen, and out of the corner of our eye, we notice the floor is dirty. We jump up and grab the mop, telling ourselves we won’t be able to concentrate on writing if the floor is dirty. Continue Reading…

Is the Voice of the Oppressor” Hindering Your Productivity?

I remember studying Camus’s The Plague in high school, and the discussion in class still lingers in my ear.

Joseph Grand, a clerk in the municipal government, confesses to Dr. Bernard Rieux, the narrator of the story, that he is writing a “book or something of the sort.” When Rieux asks Grand if he is “getting good results,” Grand answers, “Well, yes, I think I’m making headway.” Rieux then asks, “Have you much more to do?” to which Grand responds, “That’s not the point . . . I can assure you that’s not the point.”

What does Grand want? He wants his manuscript to be “flawless.”

Anne Lamott says in her wonderful book Bird by Bird about aspiring writers:

“They kind of want to write, but they really want to be published.” However, she notes, “Publication is not all that it is cracked up to be. But writing is.” Continue Reading…

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