Monday, August 9, 2021

Does Perfectionism Hinder You?

A while back I took a personality test called the Enneagram. In the various categories my first trait was #5. It's called "The Thinker" and it's true that I probably muse over things longer than the average person. My second strongest trait turned out to be perfection #1. This surprised me because I don't think of myself as a perfectionist.

First, I don't need things to be perfect. I'm not OCD. I don't need a spotless house. Usually the mistakes of others don't bother me. Although I will admit when they happen over and over and over again...well, anyone would get agitated. 

However, after some thought (since I am a Thinker) it occurred to me that I do want to make things perfect for other people. I know it's not possible, but in my work and writing that's what I would like to achieve for other people. The main reason for this is I don't like what happens when something isn't right. Mistakes cause problems. I once worked in a payroll department. A terrible place to make a mistake. Believe me. 

However, when it comes to writing maybe I am too concerned about being perfect. 

Some writers call it the internal editor that can get super picky, and I thought I had that under control, but maybe not. Maybe it slows me down. It's not about over editing. It's about trying to make the perfect decision for the story. Especially the plot. I really hate plot holes and things that don't make sense. I have thought this way fully knowing that there will still be those who don't like my writing no matter how hard I try. Perhaps I care too much about what people think. 

All this has made me realize that striving for perfection, not only holds one back in writing, but also in life. This is because you might want to try something (like a new business idea), but you know that most new businesses fail. This leads to trying to come up a new business that can't fail. Then that idea you thought was great and exciting tends not look so good. The internal critical can come up with a lot of ways your new idea will either go wrong or never go anywhere. You end up doing nothing. 

Anyway, my goal is to write first and ask questions later. 

If you would like to take that test, click here: Enneagram 

My Dog Loki when I'm trying to Write

1 comment:

  1. Writing "experts" say you need to be perfect...and then publishers publish EL James or Kim Kardashian or whatever else is suddenly popular. I have 3 books on Amazon I wrote in 1995-1996 and some people complain about the bad grammar but still a lot of people like the story and don't really care about the grammar.