Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.
Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here — and, by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.
Anne Lamott, via the ever-wonderful explore-blog.
Such true words. Striving for excellence, for doing the best you can, is a good thing. Striving for perfection is paralyzing, because perfection can never be achieved, and if you think it might be achieved, you can end up silencing yourself and never publishing a word.
I have struggled with severe writer’s block for part of my life, and it was something that was caused by many different things. One of the causes was the feeling that what I wrote was never going to be good enough for anyone to want to publish, or read. I think I’m past that now.
Let go. Be messy. Dare to do it even if you’re not “perfect”.