Are you a perfectionist? Do you continually fiddle with the finished article, blog, paragraph, and sentence? Is that book still sitting on your computer because it isn’t perfect? Are you forever asking friends, family or strangers to read your work and then, worst of all, take notice of what they say? Yeah, I know. Me too.
Our problem is that we lack confidence in our ability to write a thoroughly good book, article or whatever. We want to see the destination long before we’ve even begun the journey. We plan ahead, we may even mindmap the darn thing, and then are terrified something will happen to upend our carefully thought-out diagram. We’re tinkering merrily along and suddenly a new character pops up. Horrors! That won’t do. No, no. Get back in your box, new character. I can’t have you messing with my plot.
But, you know what? That new character or that new sub-plot is what your book probably needs. So loosen up and let the new voice tell you how it is going to change your work for the better. As a writer we need to flow, to float on ideas, memories, hazily caught conversations, and titbits we’ve read. To try to impose on our creativity is only going to end badly.
No good creation came from tightly-held reins.
Now, get over the perfection, already! We all write crap and most of us write it every day and then the next day we delete it. That’s life, there’s even a little button called ‘delete’. But hold on! It’s there if we dig into what we’ve written we may just pick up the nugget.
Life is always in flux, the inspiration to write comes and goes like the ebbing tide. Ideas come and go. It’s day, it’s night. The tide’s in, the tide’s out. Perfection isn’t permanent and what seems crap today may be tomorrow’s best-ever. Always remember your present circumstance isn’t your final destination. The best is yet to come. And the best will not necessarily be perfect.
So, write, my friend, open the floodgates. Write as if no one is going to read it and put perfection into the bin where it belongs.