The Perfectionist Puzzle
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Probably you know this:
When you’re writing, you keep adding new bits and pieces, and all of a sudden you realize that one or more pieces don’t fit.
At least not the way you intended to.
And depending on which pieces you want to keep, you need to get rid of others as a result.
What happens then is you go into some form of unrest. It could be downright anger and frustration, with the feeling of ‘you’ll never get this done’ (or something along those lines), or your reaction could be very subtle. You tense up, you don’t like being in that situation and you don’t really know what decision to make.
Whatever you do, you feel kind of bad about the situation and about yourself.
Now another example.
Maybe you’re a puzzler, maybe not, but I’m sure you can imagine the situation.
When you make a puzzle, you’re trying a million (or less, depending on the puzzle) if they fit and until you find the correct one, chances are you have to go through a lot of trial and error before.
Do you feel bad about that?
Maybe. But puzzling should be fun, right?
So, most probably you accept these “failures” as part of the game. That’s where the fun comes from, isn’t it?
If you didn’t have the trial and error element, what would the point of the puzzle be?
Are you judging yourself anytime a piece doesn’t fit? Are you angry about yourself because you didn’t make the perfect choice right off the bat?
Most probably not.
Now, back to the writing example.
Do you think that writers who are professionals now just knew the solution to everything they came across and they just put down the correct words?
Do you think they didn’t have their fair share of trial and error to make things work?
If you stop trying to be perfect in the writing process itself and give yourself room to play, you’d be surprise where your inspiration leads you.
And you’ll have more fun while you’re doing it.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times and places where your perfectionism is actually very much needed and will be one of your best weapons.
Want to learn to control your perfectionism to use it to your advantage?
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