Why you don’t need to be a perfectionist to write well

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Do you need to be a perfectionist to be a good writer?

Perfectionism seems to have replaced impostor syndrome as the anxiety du jour.

I’m here to tell you: no, it isn’t essential. It isn’t even a prerequisite for what we do.

Perfectionism is actually the enemy of creativity, and counterproductive to what you want to achieve. It encourages both an inability to let go, and self-flagellating worry.

There’s a big difference between perfectionism and commitment to excellence.

Perfectionism is setting an impossible standard to achieve, then forcing yourself to go over the same thing time and again without any hope of a satisfactory result.

Committing to excellence is delivering high quality, time after time. It’s realistic, focused productivity, without stressing over a need to get things so perfect that you tie yourself up knots over it and fail to get anywhere.

Much of this shift comes with experience: you become more relaxed and confident in your own ability.

The day we realise perfection is impossible is the day we start being truly productive.

The key is to stop fretting pointlessly, shift our mindset and get on with it.

It’s OK to accept that perfection is unachievable. Why put ourselves through it, when we could be writing?

Instead, we can stop wasting valuable time and energy over it, and commit to excellence instead.

Doing that is good enough!

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