Perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. As a writer, you should strive to write the “best” book people have read. Writing is about expressing yourself and your opinions about the world – perfectionism should not stop you from doing it.
Do you find it difficult to curb your thoughts of perfectionism as a writer? Keep reading to find eleven actionable tips to help you avoid perfectionism in this blog.
1. Get help from experts
Perfectionism kicks in when you think that you know better than everyone else. Regardless of how skilled you are at writing or any other skill, there will always be people who are better than you. Understanding this reality can help you overcome the thoughts of perfectionism.
Make sure you spend your time connecting with experts who know more about writing than you. It’s better to start finding writing professionals located in your area. For example, if you are living in Boston, you should link up with Boston proofreaders to help you rectify mistakes in your manuscripts.
2. Learn from other writers
One of the best ways you can overcome perfectionism is to follow the best writers in your genre. For example, if you aspire to become a Sci-Fi writer, you should learn from other established Sci-Fi writers. Doing so will help you avoid roadblocks as a writer.
Learning about other established writers is not as difficult as you might think. You can find the interviews of famous writers online to learn from their specific experiences. Join conferences and seminars that invite skilled writers so you can interact with your favorite writers.
3. Create a writing schedule
Writing 24/7 won’t help you avoid perfectionism. Your brain will trick you into thinking that you will write better if you keep rewriting again and again. Keep in mind that you cannot avoid perfectionism if you are worried about writing all the time.
Having a writing schedule will help you write with peace without worrying about perfectionism. When you’re forced to write at a specific time, you will allow your creativity to flow through your words. Create an actionable writing schedule you can adopt for some time to overcome perfectionism in the long run.
4. Read more books
Not having a ton of ideas can also force you to think like a perfectionist. When you know that you only have a few ideas to work with, you won’t be able to let your creativity shine. It’s therefore important to get more ideas by reading as much as possible.
Reading allows you to learn from the best writers and unearth new ideas. The more books you read, the easier it becomes for you to understand that established writers write for “accomplishment” instead of “perfectionism.”
5. Enroll in writing classes
Writing requires you to be relaxed and flexible; the traits you can only adopt if you trust your writing skills. Doubting that you cannot write better will force you to become a perfectionist. It is therefore essential for you to polish your writing skills as soon as you can.
Getting enrolled in writing classes can help you rectify your writing mistakes. Learning from a teacher who has helped so many other writers in the past will help you develop better writing faster. Other than that, learning how your fellow writers write will also help you overcome your perfectionism.
6. Connect with other writers
Sitting alone in your home and writing 24/7 won’t help you avoid perfectionism. You will think you can write better if you rewrite a sentence 1000 times. Therefore, to avoid perfectionism, you should link up with other writers and learn how they write.
Learning from other writers is not as difficult as you might think. You can get connected with other writers through online and on-site networking events. Set some time aside for networking events so you can easily link up with other writers.
7. Start hitting the gym
Sitting in your home all day long can never help you enjoy great health. If you are focused on writing all the time and don’t worry about your health, it will become harder for you to avoid perfectionism. It’s therefore important for you to improve your health by joining a gym.
Doing exercise daily will help you relieve physical and mental stress. Other than that, it will also help you develop a routine, so you can focus on other important things in life.
8. Explore the world
Perfectionism can stop you from collecting new ideas. Without brilliant ideas, you can never become an established writer. It’s therefore essential for you to collect new ideas that can help you write better and avoid perfectionism.
If you identify as a “perfectionist,” chances are that you spend all your time indoors. It’s, therefore, a better idea to get outside your home and explore the world.
One of the best ways to explore the world around you is to plan a trip. You should spend quality time with your friends and family to relieve stress and find ideas you can use in writing.
9. Think about your readers
Keeping your readers in mind is the best way you can overcome perfectionism. If you are worried about literary critics and using the best words from the vocabulary in your book, you will find it hard to avoid perfectionism and value your creativity.
Make sure you forget about what other writers think of your writing. Try to get closer to your readers and write in a way that captivates your readers. Spend some time reading books that are critically acclaimed in your genre to learn how you can present your thoughts in the best possible manner.
10. Fix your sleep cycle
Staying awake at night won’t help you overcome perfectionism and write better. Instead, you will end up disturbing your sleep cycle in the process. You should try to get adequate sleep at night, so you can rest and wake up the other day with fresh ideas in mind.
11. Get medical help
Perfectionism can also stem from mental health problems. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you might find it impossible to fight perfectionism. You should visit a psychiatrist to ensure that you don’t have any underlying mental health problems that stop you from avoiding perfectionism as a writer.