Why You Should Write More And Worry Less About Perfection

You’re a writer. Or maybe you’d like to be a writer. Or maybe you write sometimes but don’t want to technically call yourself a “writer,” because it sounds too pretentious. Either way, I have good news for you! You can do it no matter how many times your brain tells you that you can’t.

Whether it’s the “I don’t know what to say” problem or the “what I have to say is stupid” problem or the “I’ll never be as good as X” problem, there are plenty of obstacles in your path toward becoming a writer (or at least writing more). 

And overcoming them all takes time and practice but in my experience, the best way to start is by just sitting down and starting something. It doesn’t matter what that “something” looks like; it just matters that you get something down on paper (or screen). 

What follows are some of my favorite tactics for getting over hurdles and putting words on pages without worrying too much about whether they’re perfect right away:

How to Overcome Perfectionism in Your Writing Life – YouTube
Embrace Imperfection: Don’t let the pursuit of perfection hold you back from writing. Embrace imperfections and focus on expressing your ideas.
Quantity Over Perfection: Prioritize writing more content over obsessing about perfection. Quantity can lead to improved skills and a richer body of work.
Overcome Self-Doubt: Worrying less about perfection can help you overcome self-doubt and build confidence in your writing abilities.
Creative Flow: Allowing yourself to write without perfectionist tendencies can help you tap into your creative flow and generate innovative ideas.
Iterative Improvement: Understand that writing is a process of continuous improvement. Your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect; you can revise and refine later.
Share Your Voice: Writing more and worrying less allows you to share your unique voice and perspectives with the world.
Reduce Procrastination: Perfectionism can lead to procrastination. By focusing on writing more, you can reduce the tendency to put off writing tasks.
Build Momentum: Consistent writing builds momentum and helps you develop a writing routine that contributes to your growth as a writer.
Explore Different Styles: Writing more provides the opportunity to experiment with different writing styles and genres without fixating on perfection.
Enjoy the Process: Writing should be enjoyable and fulfilling. Worrying less about perfection can help you enjoy the process and find satisfaction in your work.

First Drafts Are Allowed To Suck

First drafts are for getting ideas down. They don’t have to be perfect, they don’t have to be written in perfect English, and they certainly don’t have to be written in complete sentences. 

In fact, you can even write your first draft straight onto a computer or phone with no spell-check or grammar check at all (if you want). 

As long as you remember that it is just a rough draft of your thoughts up until this point and not meant for anyone else but yourself, then writing without worrying about the nitty-gritty details will help make it easier for you to get started on your work instead of procrastinating!

To help keep me from worrying too much about making things perfect from the start, I usually do my best writing when I’m a little bit tipsy I know I’ll still get plenty done without having any sort of hangover afterward!

Building a strong foundation of writing skills is essential for any aspiring writer. Learn about 10 Things That Will Make You a Better Writer and discover actionable tips to enhance your writing journey.

Second Drafts Are Allowed To Suck, Too

Second drafts are where you fix all the mistakes you made in your first draft. This is when you add details that make your story real and readable. 

It’s also the place where you learn to write because writing is a skill that needs practice (just like playing an instrument or shooting archery).

If your second draft is no better than your first one, don’t worry about it! That happens sometimes and it doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for writing. Just keep going back to work on it until it’s good enough for submission or self-publishing.

Drafts Don’t Have To Make Sense To Be Successful

The first draft of any piece of writing is just a starting point. It doesn’t have to make sense, and it certainly doesn’t have to be “just right” for you to move on to the next step.

Because if you stop worrying about whether your words are perfect, you can write faster and easier and that means more words per day! 

So instead of spending hours trying to make everything perfect before moving on, simply get started writing as soon as possible. 

Then go back and fix anything that needs fixing later on in subsequent drafts. And if something still needs fixing after that? Just keep going until everything works out exactly how you want it!

Becoming a proficient writer takes time and dedication. Explore Time-Tested Ways to Become a Better Writer to uncover strategies that have proven effective in honing writing abilities.

Don’t Worry About A “Good” Idea

When you write, you don’t have to worry about having a good idea.

The idea is not the important part.

It’s just a jumping-off point. The seed will grow into something greater than itself as you put pen to paper and plow ahead through the first draft. 

You’ll find yourself making connections between ideas that might not have occurred to you before and perhaps even discovering new themes or topics in your work! And when it comes time for edits, all of those early drafts will be available for reference as we move toward publication.

You Can Fix Anything It Just Takes Work

I know, I know. It’s not easy to accept this fact. And when you think about it, it makes sense that it’s hard to swallow: When we’re writing, we want our first draft to be good. 

We want our second and third drafts to be better than average but still good enough for people who don’t read as carefully as we do (and who are likely very busy). 

If a lot of work is required to improve your piece from an average reading experience into one that is engaging and enjoyable, then why bother at all? 

Why not just write the “good” first draft and publish it? Well… because when you ask yourself this question in real life, the answer isn’t so clear-cut anymore! 

You may have heard stories about authors who wrote their books in one sitting maybe even in one day and had them published within weeks or months of completing their manuscript; 

But that doesn’t mean these writers didn’t go back over their work several times before submitting it for publication and editing again once they’d sold the rights off or self-published it online!

There will always be flaws no matter how many times you revise something; however, if there weren’t any flaws present during the editing stages at all then there wouldn’t need much revision done, would there? 

The important thing here is realizing what needs fixing before moving on with other aspects of creating content so that everyone else has access to helping out too: 

Friends/family members might know best when reading through drafts aloud (without stopping) whether something sounds ridiculous or doesn’t make sense enough yet which ones need changing first.

Especially if others aren’t used professionally formatting documents like yourself might find yourself doing more often nowadays due financial constraints affecting businesses’ ability hire someone else instead themselves.”

The Best Idea Is Not Always Immediately Apparent

Writing is hard work. If you want to write well, you need to put in the time and effort it takes to get your story right and that includes getting the ideas right.

But sometimes, even with all that time and effort, the best idea isn’t immediately apparent. It might take some time for everything else in your story to fall into place once you have that initial spark of inspiration. 

So don’t panic if your first idea doesn’t work out quite as well as you had hoped! You can always change it later on down the road when something better comes along… 

Or maybe even while you’re working on writing your first draft (if only I’d known this when I was working on my manuscript!)

Just like maintaining good oral hygiene, nurturing your writing skills is crucial. Delve into the article on Writing Is Good for You, Like Flossing and Feeding Squirrels to understand the benefits of consistent writing practice.

There’s No Such Thing As A Blank Page Or A Blank Mind

There is no such thing as a blank page or a blank mind. Even if you think of yourself as someone who needs to plan everything before writing, the truth is that we all have ideas constantly floating around in our heads. 

You just need to let them out on paper so that you can see them clearly and work on them from all sides. 

The more time you spend worrying about being judged by others or what they might think of your writing (and whether it will be good enough), the more likely it is that those thoughts will paralyze you completely. 

The key here is just getting started and then letting go and seeing where the journey takes you!

If You’re Not Willing To Give Up On An Idea, Then Keep Working On It

If you’re not willing to give up on an idea, then keep working on it. I know this seems like bad advice, but what I mean is that rejection and criticism shouldn’t stop you. If someone says “Nah, that sucks,” then don’t take it personally and don’t give up.

Accepting that your writing is (at least partially) subjective means accepting that people will disagree with you and sometimes they may even be wrong! 

This doesn’t mean they’re bad people or incapable of making their own decisions; it just means they have different tastes than you do. 

That’s why there are so many movies out there some people like romantic comedies while others love documentaries about penguins solving crimes in Antarctica (I’m making that one up). 

The point is: Just because someone doesn’t like something doesn’t mean it should be thrown out or abandoned forevermore.

Of course, there are plenty of times when something truly sucks, but if the main idea behind your piece isn’t awful (i.e., if it’s not racist or sexist), then keep working at improving it until the end product meets your standards before showing anyone else what you’ve written!

You’re Not Failing If Your Rough Draft Stinks

The first thing you must do is stop thinking about the perfect first draft. This does not exist and will never exist, so if you’re waiting for it, you’ll be waiting forever. 

Instead of worrying about writing something perfect from the very beginning, try writing out your ideas in whatever way feels natural to you, and don’t worry if they’re messy or random or just plain bad.

You can always fix it later when things don’t make sense. You can always rewrite it if what comes out is an unreadable mess of words that don’t make any sense at all! 

But most importantly: You can always start over again (and again) until what comes out is something worth showing someone else who can give valuable feedback on how to improve your work as an artist (or writer). 

And even if nothing changes in terms of your writing style after this exercise, at least now you know more about yourself as a writer and how much practice needs to go into improving before anyone else sees those words from yours truly appear on paper!”

If You Feel Like You’re Procrastinating, Stop Feeling Bad

If you feel like you’re procrastinating, stop feeling bad about it.

To be clear: It’s not that procrastination is a good thing, but it’s also not uncommon in the creative process. For example, it may seem obvious to say that getting started on a project is difficult and overwhelming. 

But once you start working on the project and begin to make progress even if just tiny bits at first it becomes more concrete and defined in your mind. That can help motivate you to keep going!

So if you find yourself skipping ahead to write something that feels easier or more fun from a writerly perspective (because maybe there’s going to be some dialogue), or jumping back in time because of research or outlining needs… don’t worry about it too much! 

You’re doing what comes naturally for most people when they start writing an essay or story; this is all part of discovering what works best for YOU.

The Only Way To Learn How To Write Is By Writing

Writing is a skill, and you can learn it. And the only way to learn how to write is by writing.

I know that’s not a new idea most people will tell you this. But I think it’s worth repeating because it’s something so many writers struggle with (including myself). 

We’ll read books about writing or listen to podcasts about writing and we’ll hear advice like “don’t wait for inspiration, just get started” or “don’t edit as you go along.” 

Then we have conversations with friends or colleagues who say things like “Nobody cares what I write on my blog” or “Who would want to read my book?” 

And these doubts make us feel like there are things we should be doing other than writing because then at least we’re doing something instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen.

But here’s the thing: You can’t truly learn how to write by reading some blog posts about how great writing is; you need practice! 

Writing isn’t an instinctual thing; it takes time and effort over many years before anyone becomes proficient enough at their craft that they can call themselves an expert and even then there’s still room for growth!

Don’t Let What Other People Say Stop You From Doing

If you’re thinking about writing more, but have been scared off by the idea of sharing your work with others, I want to tell you something.

You don’t need to be published to be a writer. You aren’t supposed to be good at everything right away and there’s no shame in figuring out how to do something new. 

There are plenty of writers who never get published and that doesn’t make them any less of a writer than someone who is.

If you think about it, there are tons of people who have written great stuff that never gets published because they just never submit their work anywhere or they don’t self-publish their books/writing pieces/etc., 

But these people are still writers not because they’ve been accepted into some secret club or whatever but because they put words on paper (or computer screen) that convey meaning for others

Overcoming writer’s block can be a challenge, but it’s not insurmountable. Discover techniques in How to Let Go of Writer’s Block Once and for All to break through creative barriers.

Every Writer Gets Discouraged Sometimes

As a writer and aspiring author, it’s easy to feel discouraged. You see other people’s work and think, “I wish I could write like that.” 

You look back at your work and think, “This is horrible; what am I doing?” And even when you’re writing something new, it can be hard to know how or where to start.

The truth is that every writer gets discouraged sometimes it’s part of the process! If you want to be a successful author one day (and who doesn’t?), then you’ll have to learn how to recognize those feelings as normal and get yourself back on track so that they don’t derail your progress.

Here are some tips for overcoming discouragement when it happens:

Reading fiction can offer valuable insights and inspiration for your writing journey. Find out how in How Reading Fiction Will Make You a Better Writer, as the article explores the connections between reading and writing prowess.


We hope this post has been helpful to you in your writing journey! The truth is, it’s hard to get started with writing and even harder to continue. But it’s worth the effort. The more you write, the better writer you’ll become so keep on writing!

Further Reading

Here are some additional articles on the topic of perfectionism and writing that you might find interesting:

Perfectionism, Shame, and Writing Short Description: Exploring the impact of perfectionism and shame on the writing process, shedding light on ways to overcome these obstacles.

Why Fear and Perfectionism Should Make You Write More Short Description: Discover how embracing fear and perfectionism can lead to increased writing productivity and creativity.

The Perks of Perfect Enough: How Perfectionism Holds Writers Back Short Description: Delve into the drawbacks of perfectionism for writers and learn why aiming for “perfect enough” might be a healthier approach.


Here are some frequently asked questions related to the theme of perfectionism and writing, along with their answers:

What is the impact of perfectionism on the writing process?

Perfectionism can hinder the writing process by causing writers to become overly critical of their work, leading to writer’s block and a fear of sharing their ideas.

How can writers overcome the fear of not being perfect?

To overcome the fear of not being perfect, writers can focus on the value of the content they provide, embrace imperfections, and remind themselves that writing is a process of growth.

Is it possible to find a balance between striving for excellence and avoiding perfectionism?

Yes, finding a balance involves setting realistic goals, accepting that no work is flawless, and prioritizing progress over perfection in order to maintain a healthy writing practice.

Can perfectionism lead to writer’s block?

Yes, perfectionism often leads to writer’s block because writers become paralyzed by the need to produce flawless content, which stifles creativity and prevents them from getting words on the page.

How does perfectionism impact a writer’s self-esteem?

Perfectionism can damage a writer’s self-esteem by causing them to tie their self-worth to the quality of their work, making them overly critical of themselves and undermining their confidence.