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Perfection. Don’t bother.

Let’s talk about the art of perfection, striving for it, and the reality that we’ll never achieve it.

I should know, I’m a perfectionist. You know . . . them crazy people who try to have everything perfect, and it never works so then they get frustrated with themselves, and everything goes pop?

Yeah. I’ll just pause a moment and let that sink in.

It sucks.

I’ve been there, I still have my moments where I live there. Overall, I’m getting better about letting go. I’m a product of people expecting perfection out of me, or my own beliefs that I should only ever be perfect, and on and on.

While it pertains to writing, I’ll let you know straight up? You’ll never (let me bold that up and capitalize NEVER) achieve perfect writing, or grammar. Ever. Period. Compleeeeeetly. It won’t happen. You can decide that you’ve hit that perfection and I can promise someone will come along to say that the word wasn’t right (even if it’s your own made up word), wasn’t spelled right, used right, the grammar wasn’t, on and on.

So I’ll repeat myself: you’ll never be perfect.

I mean . . . not even a computer is perfect. It breaks down, it needs updates, there is just no such thing.

Stop trying for it.

I repeat it to myself here too.

Perfection is an illusion for us. We can strive for the best idea of perfection, but always remember that there is no such thing. Perfect is in the eye of the beholder. For me it means perfectly imperfect. If you’re trying, that’s awesome. If you do your best, that is awesome. We should aim for great, or even good enough, but no matter how hard we try to achieve perfection in our writing, it won’t happen.

Rather than go on, I will link you to this incredible article from Kristine Kathryn Rusch, which says everything.

Wonderful quote from this article:

Anything can be critiqued. Criticizing something is easy. It makes the critiquer feel smart, and just a little bit superior to the writer.

After next week’s topic, we’ll start creating a story. But I wanted to answer a question that goes into pressuring ourselves. And for me personally, why that becomes a problem. George R.R. Martin happens to suffer from this right now. No kidding. Read through his “not a blog” posts and you’ll find that out.


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In the comments below, tell me what is your biggest hurdle, or give me a question you have percolating.


Find the index with all the posts here – Story Creation Magic. The link is also up there in my navigation bar so it’s always easy to find.🙂

continue to the next post in this series

4 responses to “Perfection. Don’t bother.”

  1. This is one of the most important – but difficult- habits to break. For a lot of writers (like me) the STORY part of your first draft will be a whole bunch more interesting if you don’t worry about editing. I learned that if you worry about editing even in the first few chapters you will have a well-edited crap story.

    You will have plenty of time for editing…so don’t worry about that. Write a good STORY. If the reader isn’t grabbed by your story and characters it won’t matter how brilliantly you edited your work.

    One other note on editing: personally, I don’t understand writers that refuse to let a few select readers read an ARC or draft and send them suggestions. Ego? I am currently on 2 “street teams” and am a HUGE FAN of both authors. Don’t you want to know what a potential NEW reader or fan thinks? Try sending someone who isn’t afraid of offending you an advance draft to read. I can honestly state that I have never – not once – made major changes based on early reader feedback. But I have sure learned a heck of a lot about how a reader will react to certain characters or plot points. Good information to have 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • As someone who has had her fair share of beta readers who are never heard from again, I can say that the write could’ve also been burned by them enough that they no longer trust anyone to read for them. It’s incredibly difficult to find decent beta readers.


  2. You are correct! Perfection is a myth the pen cannot replicate. Lol 🙂 As a poet my goal is to have a solid work by the end if my first draft. I am sure we all aim at the first draft being a lot closer to the final draft, but in reality, it just doesn’t happen this way. What I’ve learned is to just write… Then go back and look for ideas or images that your mind is connecting. Writing takes time and time again . So don’t rush the story, plot, character, or poem, if you can help it:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well put. It can be really hard to just write through and not go back to self correct issues, but then we’d end up never reaching the end. Which is the most important goal.


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