What does being a perfectionist entail anyway? Not finding it in yourself to forgive your own self for that spelling mistake you made in one article? Almost crying because you missed a point? Dwelling over something remotely embarrassing that happened long after everyone has forgotten?
I am not sure why people call themselves perfectionists with a lot of pride. I don’t think it is something to be proud of at all. Never being satisfied with what we write? How does that give you joy? How does the fear of failure trump the desire to succeed?
In my 7 years of experience I have realized that being practical and pragmatic is much more important than being a perfectionist. Perfectionism doesn’t let allow flexibility or room for error – both of which are extremely crucial for writers. Perfectionism doesn’t let you start writing until you are completely satisfied with your idea and that’s a damper like no other. Worst of all, it closes you to criticism because for you, criticism is failure and you simply can’t stand that!
How, then, can you be a good writer? You aim at churning out great content, yes, but you don’t let your idea of perfection get in the way. That’s how.
- Instead of waiting for the “best” idea to come, if you think an idea is good, just go for it! Making the best of it is up to you.
- To avoid researching forever, fearing that you don’t have enough information, limit the time you spend on research and focus only on the topic you are working on.
- Have a template that you can follow while writing articles and don’t try to churn the perfect article in one go. The first draft could be terrible but that fear shouldn’t stop you from getting it done.
- Take your time to revise but focus on just one task. Don’t get discouraged by the errors in the first draft. Simply take cues and improve.
- Check if the article is ready to publish through a checklist (Does the article provide value to readers? Did you proofread it? Did you do your best? Will readers benefit from this article?). If you check all the boxes, it is time to publish no matter what the critic inside you says!
You shouldn’t be a perfectionist to be a great writer. You should just be flexible, practical, and open to criticism. ☺