Write 2 Be Magazine

For the Artists Who Like to Remain Strictly Out of the Box

Tips for Managing the Perfectionist in You by Patrick Smyth

If you find yourself stuck in your writing by searching for the perfect idea, phrase, descriptive language, action sequence or grammatically correct prose, you may be a perfectionist. Producing high quality text that engages and captivates the reader should be the goal of every writer. Perfectionists must learn to manage the balance between getting a work to market and making it perfect.

To a true perfectionist, releasing a book before it is perfect may seem to require compromises that will reflect poorly on its quality. That is where the balancing act comes in to play. Ultimately, it makes no sense to attempt to produce a perfect work if nobody is going to read it. Let the reader become the judge of what is perfect after they read your book.

The first important point is to stop procrastinating, idly tapping your computer mouse as you wait for perfection to arrive. Write down whatever you first thought of writing and just keep writing. Ignore the grammar, style and word choices as you write and save that work for later editing. Flow the creativity through your pen or fingertips, into your writing, and don’t keep it solely in your head. Learning to be a good writer takes practice, as with any other discipline. Attempting to be perfect without practice is simply dreaming.

When you finally start the editing phase, be prepared to rewrite several sections of the work and plan on multiple rounds of editing. Don’t let this frustrate you. Instead, take time away from the book and you’ll find each time you return to it you will have a fresh perspective and the work will improve greatly. Have other people look over excerpts of the work to give you feedback. You may find that their view of perfection and yours don’t match, and that’s a good thing. Either they will give you constructive suggestions to improve it, or they will tell you it is great in spite of your tendency to want to keep on polishing.

The other balance that perfectionists must learn to maintain is the balance between work and life. Don’t become a hermit in your pursuit of your perfect dream. Take time to engage fully with your family, friends and nature. That time and the experiences you will gain from it will recharge your batteries and provide the fuel to help you write when you return to your writing desk. Family memories come and go only once. You can choose to miss them completely and never have those memories, or you can choose to have a rich memory bank of relationships that were dear to you.

If you are relatively new to writing, don’t be too hard on yourself. Writing is a wonderful creative outlet and you can’t be too creative if you’re not having fun. Enjoy the process and maintain a positive outlook and you will find the creativity will be there. You have great ideas and stories to tell. Get them out of you so others can enjoy them. It all comes down to balance: the balance between work, play and perfectionism. Focus on balancing the first two and the third will take care of itself. Whatever you do, write on!

Patrick is a coach, speaker, and trainer to individuals and business leaders. He helps leaders to achieve success by clarifying their vision, strategic plans, leadership, change management, brand and marketing strategy. He helps individuals to remove self-limiting beliefs and fears that prevent them from acting on their goals and dreams. 615-261-8585 http://www.patrickgsmyth.com


About jcladyluv

Jimmetta Carpenter is the Editor and Creator of the Free Fall Literary E-Zine and the Spoken Like A Queen E-Zine. She has dedicated herself to the power of the words and given into her passion for writing and has been writing poetry officially since the age of ten. She has a book of poetry titled “The Art of Love” published through lulu.com under the pen name Gemini. She is currently finishing up with her first novel and already working on her second. In 1998 she had her poem “Rest In Peace” published in an anthology put out by the International Library of Poetry and in the Spring of 2007 will have another poem titled “Through The Eyes of an Angel” published in another anthology also put out by the International Library of Poetry. She was also awarded the Editor’s Choice Award for that poem as well. She is looking forward to having a very long and rewarding career in writing and hopes that through living out her dreams she can inspire someone else out there to realize theirs. Her advice to other up and coming authors is to NEVER stop believing N your dreams and don’t ever be afraid to dream big. Jimmetta can be contacted by sending her an e-mail at freefall_lbp@yahoo.com or jcladyluv@yahoo.com.

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This entry was posted on January 28, 2015 by in Contributing Writers and tagged , , , , .

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