Jack the Ripper is one of the most famous serial killers in England.
He could never be caught and his identity was never clarified.
In the real world, “Jack the Ripper” remains a mystery.
But it really does exist in the world of writing. It just has a different name:
It’s called perfectionism.
Perfectionism ensures that bloggers and authors give up every day, never finish and send their project to hell in frustration.
Perfectionism has more writers on its conscience than Stalin. But Stalin’s rule also came to an end.
And I’m going to show you today how you can put an end to the rule of perfectionism forever.
Here are my 7 effective remedies against the perfectionist in you:
1) After all, rotten sacks have eggs
Since childhood we have been persuaded that we have to be “hardworking”.
Otherwise there will be trouble. Bad grades. No salary.
The main reason why people are hard-working is therefore not motivation and passion, but the fear of punishment.
Many authors also feel this fear :
“If I don’t publish an article this Friday, I will be violating my editorial plan.”
“If I don’t have the book ready by November, I’ll miss my launch date.”
“If I don’t send out a newsletter today, I will disappoint the reader’s expectations.”
This fear of punishment is a terrible condition for an author and blogger. Because whoever is afraid of punishment tries to do everything right. To be perfect. Nothing to be missed. To meet expectations.
Such people are rushed and chased by their duties and deadlines.
I don’t think that creative texts can be created in such a state .
So allow yourself to be lazy.
Sure, it takes courage.
It takes courage to break your own editorial plan if it helps your creativity.
It takes courage to push the deadline backwards to create a truly great book – and not “I wrote it on a weekend” rubbish.
Allow yourself sometimes – I emphasize sometimes – to be lazy. It is liberating and relieving.
In this state of freedom and serenity, you write 10 times better than in the state of fear.
2) Better a square something than a round nothing
You have probably heard of events where you celebrate “failure”. So-called “fuck-up” nights are evenings where founders tell how they failed with their idea.
How they put millions in the sand.
Although everyone emphasizes again and again: “Mistakes are important, mistakes are necessary”, this still looks different in our society.
Fuck-Up-Night or not: Deliver a faulty text and you will be torn in the air.
The fact is that our society still punishes mistakes very hard – and that is why we are all extremely afraid of mistakes.
Am I afraid of mistakes?
Naturally. Anything else would be a lie.
But I also know that mistakes are part of it. That mistakes are part of the process. That mistakes are the paving stones to success.
As Winston Churchill said :
“Success: stumbling from error to error without losing enthusiasm.”
So allow yourself to make mistakes.
Allow yourself to have rough edges. Be unpainted. Imperfect.
# Reading tip: 10 reasons why I write bad texts
3) Put 1 billion euros in the sand
Do you know that moment in school when you understood that teachers used to be students?
That teachers made mistakes too?
It was very liberating for me when I learned that my class teacher only had a 3-cut on her report card.
Equally liberating is the realization that even billion-dollar companies make mistakes. Mistakes that not only spoil their reputation, but also cost billions of euros.
We all know Coca Cola. But do you also know that the company tried to introduce a new recipe called ” New Coke “? Only very few people know that, because this variety has died down with noises and noises. Coca Cola put the “New Coke” back into action after a few weeks.
I don’t want to know how much money was burned.
Compared to that, a blog or book is just a butterfly blow. But we authors and bloggers bite our bums when we do something wrong.
I’m not a fan of sloppiness and frivolity. A book or blog is hard work. The process requires blood and tears.
That’s why you shouldn’t torture yourself if you make a mistake in this complex process.
You can comfort yourself: as a rule, the mistake doesn’t cost you a billion euros.
# Reading tip: My 5 stupidest mistakes when making money
4) It doesn’t matter what you write – at least at the beginning
Perfectionism is the most common reason for so-called writer’s block .
Writing usually fails because of the simple question: “What should I write?”
Already here we often have the aspiration to write a bestseller.
“The topic must be bomastic! Change the world! Goethe should rise from the dead while reading! “
This setting for writing is blocked.
Writing has to be fun. It has to flow out of you like water from a well.
To make the process fun, you need one:
Without practice, writing is unusual for your brain – and therefore exhausting. Regular practice not only helps against writer’s block, but also against perfectionism.
You get a friendlier relationship with your texts.
In her book “ Bird by Bird ” *, the author Anne Lamott therefore recommends : Write about your lunch.
Because at the beginning it doesn’t matter what you write. The main thing is that you write.
# Reading tip: 25 creative writing exercises
5) The first draft is always coated
The first draft – no matter what – is always humble.
There are composers who have a reputation for having their music in their heads and flawlessly putting it on paper with just one attempt.
Until one found the manuscripts on which they had changed, crossed out and corrected something a hundred times.
When we read books, we have the same impression – as if this book was written down in one go.
But a good book is the process of an almost endless correction loop: writing, collecting feedback, rewriting.
Perfectionism is the desire to immediately write a brilliant and perfect first draft. Since that is not possible, you try to square the circle and fail.
Frustration and despair are the result.
All great authors are good editors. You edit, correct, and change you fall over. They have come to terms with the idea that the first draft is always shitty.
But never the end result.
# Reading tip: Write and sell an e-book in 7 days
6) Drive like in the fog – but drive
What also leads to writer’s blocks and perfectionism is the desire to have a perfect route for your success.
From A to Z.
A road map, a step-by-step guide, for your life as an author.
So that you see everything in front of you and don’t have to experience any surprises.
But you cannot fully see your journey when you start it. You only see what’s in front of you. And success means going on.
It’s like driving in the fog. You may only see 20 meters away. You drive this 20 meters and you see another 20 meters. You drive this too.
And so you master the whole trip.
Unsuccessful people are waiting for the fog to clear. That the sun is shining and they are getting a tailwind – but this moment will never come.
There is no “perfect” moment to start.
If you want a schedule that worked for me, read this article:
Earn money with blogging: step by step to your first 1,000 euros.
7) A text is like a polaroid
The perfectionist in us has another stupid habit: he wants to have the finished work in mind.
Sometimes writing is like cooking – you can and should rely on proven recipes for success . But sometimes a book is more complex.
It’s like an old joke in which the son asks the mother:
“Mom, what is there to eat today?”
The mother replies: “I don’t know, I’m not done yet.”
It is often the same with writing: You start with an idea, but then it turns into something else. A text is like a polaroid – it evolves over time.
At first you only see the core idea. Then the intro. Then another aspect.
But this development only happens when you do something. Perfectionists are waiting. Authors do.
As Picasso said:
Ideas are just starting points. To know what you want to draw, you have to start drawing.
The rest develop over time.
Overcome perfectionism forever
I think we all suffer from perfectionism – sometimes more, sometimes less.
I keep catching myself trying to please everyone. Make no mistake. To be perfect.
But then I remember the quote from Paul Arden and I would therefore like to close with this quote too.
Because it will help you to overcome the perfectionist in you:
If you only ever make the “right” decision, the safe decision, the decision that most people make – then you will be just like everyone else. “
Be great, write great,