When I began my writing career, what held me back was my perfectionist hangup. The eyes of history were looking over my typewriter and shaking their collective heads at me, saying things like “no,” or “bs” or “are you kidding?” or “this is pathetic.” When I could fully tell the eyes of history to F off, a great burden was lifted from me and I could write much more easily. To combat this hangup of mine, I adopted this motto:” The next piece I write will be perfect. As far as this one right here is concerned, I’ll just do my best.” I actually printed this up and hung it on a wall near where I was writing.

Another trick I pulled on myself. I would write this and also hang it on the wall: “This essay I am now writing must be perfect.” And then I would try to laugh at that statement.

I hope and trust this will be of help to all those who share with me this psychological hangup of perfectionism.



10:12 am on September 5, 2023