Give up on Perfectionism in your Writing

    When I first started writing a long time ago, it was difficult for me not to
   give in to perfectionism in my writing. I would fret and stew over each and
   every word.  And that used to drive me crazy. I would really struggle to get
   anything at all out on the page. But why cause so much turmoil for myself,
   I wondered? Why not just relax and get the initial writing done first and
   then worry about perfecting the prose?
   Perfectionism takes many different forms in writing. It may mean that
   you are paralysed to write because you feel that you haven’t researched the
   topic enough. Or you may be uncertain because you don’t think that you
   wrote the manuscript with a sufficient amount of specificity, sophistication
   or clarity. All of these uncertainties can really affect your overall output as
   a writer.
   Writers must write, despite the fact that they don’t have enough facts or
   information. Chances are if you have been doing a lot of reading and
   researching a topic, you have a sufficient amount of information to write
   about the topic. You aren’t writing a doctoral dissertation after all.
   Most writers cannot know everything there is to know about a topic
   anyway. It seems that there is just so much information out there that you
   could easily get information overload if you read for too long or take out too
   much material on a particular topic. Read a moderate amount of material
   and then start writing.
   Once you start writing just keep writing without ceasing until you have
   a first draft of your manuscript. Don’t let petty self-critical tactics stop you
   from putting the words on the page. Just write the first draft of your
   manuscript without worrying. Then, if after you have written the first draft,
   you find that you need more information or more research you could always
   add it later.
   The same holds for word usage.  If after you have written your manuscript
   you find that the language is either too sophisticated or not sufficiently
   sophisticated for your audience, you could change the words to reflect your
   audience. That is very much part of the redrafting stage and is a
   fundamental part of writing for the precise readership that you are
   intending your manuscript.
   As in everything, balance is the key. Don’t be a slacker and fail to do the
   research that is needed before you start writing. However, don’t paralyse
   yourself with undue perfectionism either. Just dive in and get the
   manuscript written. You will be very glad when you have a first draft on
   your computer that you could then revise and make it better and better.
   So strive for balance instead of perfectionism in your writing!


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