Welcome (back) to Writer Central!
Today I’m doing something a little bit different! I came up with the idea a few weeks back and decided I really wanted to do a post on it. I’ve been trying to expand my blog from just reviews and how-tos.
The title for today’s post is Nine Struggles of Being a Perfectionistic Writer. Now, I personally am a huge perfectionist, and I find that there are many struggles that come with being that way as a writer.
If you are a perfectionist as well, just read below so we can wallow in the relatableness together. (We’re just going to pretend that made sense, alright?)
1. We are never satisfied with our work.
I find it very difficult for me, personally, to move on when I know something has an issue. I just can’t stand the fact that it’s not perfect, and it drives me crazy. I wish I could fix everything, and I know that I will be going back and rereading my manuscript roughly fifty times just to make sure it’s perfect (which it won’t ever be).
2. Our surroundings have to be perfect.
Ok, this is likely not true for every writer out there, but it’s definitely true for me. Before I start writing I usually have to clean my workspace, make my bed, and get dressed. It’s a weird thing I have that I do nearly every time I write. No one else I know is like this, but maybe that’s because no one else I know is as much of a perfectionist as I am.
But seriously, if you can relate to this one, please say so!
3. Our notes have to be organized.
I can’t stand it when my handwriting is lopsided or the spaces in between the lines aren’t the same distance. I will go as far as to erase it all and write it over again just because it pleases me more that way. Sure, a ton of my stuff is messy, but I only really use it if it doesn’t drive me crazy. (Does that make any sense?)
Also, when I draw a line for a character profile or my outline, I’ll use a ruler because wavy lines are just the worst.
4. We spend hours on just one sentence or paragraph.
If a sentence is just awful, I can usually practically feel its awfulness radiating from my laptop. I won’t leave it alone until I’m satisfied with it, and it’s so annoying and probably a waste of time.
5. We go back to edit something over and over (and over).
I often get a small idea for a scene that I feel would improve it, so I’ll spend hours fixing it, and then I think of a better update just as I’m finishing the first one. Sure, I’ve made it better, but it always takes so much more time than it should.
6. We try to fix everything.
I’ll read excerpts of my friends’/beta readers’ work and note/fix every grammar error and typo I find, even though I was only supposed to be going through the deeper stuff. I know it’s really annoying for them, but it’s also annoying for me to have to leave it.
7. Our brains are automatically programmed to edit.
Sometimes I’ll be reading through something – usually a book – and my brain will automatically find a sentence that seems off and correct it. Unfortunately, I can only really do it with other people’s writing, so…that’s inconvenient.
8. Our manuscripts have to be perfect before the public can see them.
I won’t let anyone see my manuscript until I’m sure there aren’t any typos or grammatical/spelling errors in it. And on the occasion that someone does find one and points it out, I’ll be mortified even though I have no good reason to be.
9. Everything else we do has to be perfect.
Sometimes I write a post on Twitter or Instagram and something about it doesn’t sit right with me. I’ll just delete the whole post and write it over because I can’t stand leaving it with a mistake.
Also, when I’m posting on my blog, I’ll edit it, publish it, read it, and then find one tiny mistake. I’ll spend a long time going back and forth making sure it’s perfect, even though I don’t really have the time to do so. This post will probably get the same treatment. (Do you guys ever notice that I do this?)
I also find mistakes in other people’s blogs/websites and cringe. It’s usually all I can do not to say anything.
That’s all for today! Thank you so much for stopping by. If you enjoyed this post and would like to read the others (yes, there’s more where this came from), they can be found here. And please follow my blog for more to come!
If you have a question or comment, just drop it below or contact me through email or social media, and I’ll get back to you. Like this post if you want more similar to it.
Also, do any of you relate to this? I sure hope so, because I thought I was so brilliant in coming up with it! Please let me know if you’re a perfectionistic writer who goes through these struggles.
See you next time!