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Thoughts on Perfectionism & Being A Writer

Thoughts on Perfectionism and Being a Writer

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a perfectionist. I’ve always held myself to high standards, perhaps higher than anyone else ever expected of me. And while I think there are a lot of good qualities that contribute to perfectionism, there are times when it’s a burden, when it creates unnecessary stress.

Perfectionism is all about being perfect, right? It’s about wanting to be so sure of every detail that there’s nothing to dispute. Whether it’s a school assignment, or the way you dress, or the way you interact with other people, wanting to do it all perfectly is, quite honestly, exhausting. And ultimately, it’s unsustainable.

I recently shared a picture on Instagram that had a typo in it. I didn’t notice it before I posted it, but I had a mini heart attack when I noticed it a few hours later. Not only had I posted the picture, but it was a picture of my own NaNoWriMo Planner Stickers, from one of my most popular blog posts. The horror! The typo not only existed on Instagram, but in my planner, on my computer, on my blog post, and on every copy that someone downloaded and printed from my blog! *deep breath*

And I decided to let it slide. You know why?

Because I’m not perfect. Because I make typos. I’ve always struggled with understanding grammar, and as an English Major, that was a major embarrassment!

But I am a writer. NaNoWriMo has already taught me so much about sitting with a messy draft, about accepting that it’s not perfect. And it’s never going to be!

I think that’s why I like writing, why I like poetry. Because you can break the rules a little bit – you can make your own style, your own form, your own made-up language even! It allows my perfectionist side to step back and let my creative side, my emotional side, and my passionate side to step forward and have a dance party.

So to all my fellow perfectionists out there: Live with your typos. Accept them. Embrace them! Or even go as far as me and advertise them on your blog! Because we’re not perfect – we’re human. We all get to be a little messy sometimes, and it’s okay.

XOXO

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3 Comments

  • Amy

    I love this message. As much as I desire to be perfect, I am reminded daily (by all of my mistakes) that I am human. It is still a struggle at times, but I am trying to embrace it. I now have your printable in my journal reminding me to celebrate who I am and know that I am not alone. You are amazing, and I admire and appreciate you being who you are. Thank you for sharing.

    November 15, 2015 at 10:10 am Reply
    • Haley

      Thank you Amy! I think once we start to accept our “imperfections” they lose their power over us. We can then start to shift our focus to all the things that we love about ourselves! Thanks for commenting – your words mean a lot to me.
      xo,
      Haley

      November 15, 2015 at 8:19 pm Reply
  • Be kind. Be gentle. Be forgiving. - Strong Beginning

    […] of my favorite blogs, Whatever Bright Things, shared a printable last month that said “Live with your typos. We all get to be a little messy sometimes.” The author, Haley, is a perfectionist and had made a typo for all the world to see. Rather […]

    December 9, 2015 at 10:16 pm Reply
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