Letting Go of Perfectionism

Author:
Publish date:

Hi Writers,
I was sitting in an online workshop last week. Dozens of other magazine and book editors were present as well as much of upper management, including our CEO. And he made a statement that I've been thinking about ever since: when it comes to the Internet, we need to let go of our perfectionism.

Now I've always believed that perfectionism is ultimately frustrating, since it can really cripple creativity. But as the editor of a print magazine, perfectionism is always the goal, even if it's never quite achieved. We hone and polish the magazine to a high shine, send it off to press with a wish and a prayer and cringe when the inevitable typo gets through. It's an editor's way to want the baby to be as perfect as possible. (By the way, there's a wonderful essay on this topic in Salon: Let Us Now Praise Editors.)

But the Internet is fast and loose and free. More casual language rules and no one seems to care if you get lax with your commas or use a dash where there should have been a semi-colon. Perfectionism slows you down. And I have to admit that this is really appealing to the writer in me.

So this is a dichotomy for the writer, isn't it? All writers are editors, in a sense. And letting go of perfectionism can be difficult.

Are you a perfectionist with your writing? And do you relax your standards when you write online?

As always, I'd love to hear from you, especially all of you busy writer/bloggers out there.

Yours in non-perfectionism.

Keep Writing,
Maria

From Script

A Fond Farewell to Netflix’s Lucifer, Writing Video Games, and Do Experts Stand in the Way of Your Writing Goals?: From Script

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, exclusive interviews with Lucifer TV writer Chris Rafferty and video game writer Ian Ryan. Plus, learn about screenwriting trailblazer France Goodrich Hacket, who co-wrote It’s a Wonderful Life, and advice on when and when not to approach a writing expert to reach your writing goals.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Misusing Dialogue Tags

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Misusing Dialogue Tags

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is misusing dialogue tags.

Poetic Forms

Boketto: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, Walter J. Wojtanik shares his relatively new form, the boketto.

Paul Neilan: On Implementing Dark Humor

Paul Neilan: On Implementing Dark Humor

In this article, author Paul Neilan explains how he came up with the idea for his mystery and dark comedy novel The Hollywood Spiral.

WD-Poetry-2020-WinnerGraphic

Deborah Hall, 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winner

The winner of the 2020 Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards discusses the inspiration behind her first-place poem, “The Loneliest Whale."

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Split Up

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Split Up

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters split up.

Kerry Winfrey: On Writing a Romance that's Cozy and Comforting

Kerry Winfrey: On Writing a Romance that's Cozy and Comforting

Author Kerry Winfrey wrote her latest romance, Very Sincerely Yours, during the 2020 pandemic to comfort herself. Here, she's explaining why that tone is important for readers.

WD-Poetry-2020-WinnerGraphic

The 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 WD Poetry Awards!

GettyImages-163437242

Your Story #113

Write a short story of 650 words or fewer based on the photo prompt. You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.