A Thought on Perfectionism in Writing

It is the struggle of looking at a blank page. The fear of limitlessness potential and realizing you may not have the skill to capture it.

One thing I have noticed about myself, and many other writers, is that we all tend to be perfectionists. Well, maybe I am speaking too definitively, but I think there really is an unspoken rule about writers and artists in general.

We hate showing our work. It terrifies us.

Why is this? Well, the answer is simple. We often feel our work is never truly finished. There is always something missing that needs to be fixed, realigned, edited… You get the picture. We give our “darlings” fancy titles and cover pages then put them away on shelves to hide their cracks and imperfections.

However, we often miss the beauty of imperfection. But like a Kintsukuroi pot, with its many cracks and broken pieces, we should be proud to show off our imperfect work. Whether it’s a short story, poem, or any other work of art, there is beauty in the history of what we create.

The pressure to be perfect can be debilitating for some creators and is especially difficult when a part of their soul is embedded into their work. It is the struggle of looking at a blank page. The fear of limitlessness potential and realizing you may not have the skill to capture it. Many writers will put down their pen, turn off their computers, and tell themselves they just need time to process or to outline. They choose to wait and let their creative spark fade until all hope seems lost for a brighter future.

So, what is the cure?

Just write. Create with passion and with love for where you are in your process. Love the cracks and imperfections that appear. It will make your work in progress that much more beautiful to you when you look back. Only then can you see how far you have come. It is a daily struggle and a daily choice.

But, if I may be so bold as to make another definitive statement, writers do not like to settle. We have a drive to create. We hate taking the world for what it is and instead choose to imagine what it can become. This helps us stoke that flame inside of our souls, and will be the driving force of why you want to create and share your work.

Once you have that in mind, there is no telling what you can do.

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