About That Perfectionism . . .

About That Perfectionism . . .


Fellow writers,

I knew I wanted to write about the dangers of perfectionism this week, about how it can crush creativity and keep us from getting anything done.

I always search for an image before I start writing and then create a simple graphic and set it on the page. The image helps me to think about what I want to say and reminds me to stay on track (although that doesn’t always work). It also takes some of the deadline pressure off. Whew, I’ve got the image placed!

This week, I thought I’d probably have some trouble finding an image for perfectionism, but I nevertheless typed in that keyword over at Pixabay and, voilà, the image above was one of the first ones on the page.

And, wow, it was almost like I didn’t need to write anything. “Perfection is stagnation” pretty much says it all.


Stagnation: “a state of not flowing or moving”


When we don’t begin a project because we’re afraid it won’t be good enough, it won’t be perfect, that’s stagnation.

When we torture ourselves over an opening paragraph in a first draft, that’s stagnation.

When we hold off on sharing our work for feedback because it isn’t good enough yet, that’s stagnation.

When we only have half an hour to write when we’d planned on two, so we don’t write at all, that’s stagnation.


Yes, strive for perfection in revision. Polish, polish, polish. Then recognize there’s no such thing as perfection and put your work out there.

But in the early stages, in the spaces meant for discovery and play and throwing ideas against the page, perfectionism has no place. None.

So we need to  shut that notion down.





Reprint of “Something to Consider, “October 16, 2019