10 Devastating Side-Effects of Perfectionism

So, I have yet again had some serious issues with moving my WIP (work in progress) towards completion…

I am about half-way through my 3rd draft and I have just come to realise that the whole things reads much better told in present tense (rather than past tense).

In the interest of writing the best possible final draft of my novel, I have given in and re-written the first chapter (which might mean that I am now on my 4th draft..?) – and it reads a LOT better.

But of course that means that I have a whole new draft to write before I can go anywhere near editing.

My Wattpad profile has yet again ground to halt and I think followers over there might think I am messing them around on purpose (I am not).

So, after a weekend of helpful self-reflection I have decided to put together the 10 most devastating side-effects of my perfectionism in an attempt to create a resource that I can use as a reminder the next time I feel like substantially changing something about my WIP:

1. It holds you back from being your most productive self.

2. It hampers success (since it will make sure you never get anything done…)

3. It slows down the writing process.

4. It raises self-doubt and/ or magnifies it.

5. Even your best work will never seem good enough.

6. It increases stress and prevent you from gaining any satisfaction from your writing.

7. It increases procrastination (since you won’t ever feel like your work is good enough).

8. It can make you succumb to comparing yourself/ your work to that of others (who may be much further along in their author journey.

9. It can make you feel worthless (even post publication) and get you hooked on outward validation.

10. It kills inspiration.

And now it’s your turn…do you agree with these 10 devastating side effects of perfectionism? Are there any more you can name? Do you suffer from perfectionism and / or have you found a way to help yourself overcome it? Also, if you can shed light on how perfectionism can be turned into an asset, I would be interesting in hearing about it. Please get in touch via the comments section below and (as always)…have a productive Sunday. 

2 thoughts on “10 Devastating Side-Effects of Perfectionism

  1. Yes, yes, yes to all of these. I wish I had solutions to perfectionism. In my life, it affects my writing, my parenting, and my nursing career. The most prominent side effects for me now are self-doubt and looking for external affirmation. So a month ago when the helpful editor/story coach sent back my MS with questions and comments everywhere, I haven’t been able to look at it since. I was expecting shiny stars. But, hey, I think this is giving me a subject to explore in my own blog, so thank you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey ekmartinauthor! Thanks for leaving such a comprehensive response. I am glad the post resonated with you. I am also deeply affected by this in my professional and personal life which manifests often in a desire to be recognised for excellence that may not be there… which often leads to me overlooking helpful feedback…which could have helped me get to the level of excellence I desire… a vicious circle. Keep working! Oh and send me a link to any post that my ramblings may have inspired. 😉


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