Every Writer’s Worst Enemy Is This.

Every writer's worst enemy isn't the lack of skill. It's a distorted perception towards religious perfectionism that stops us from making progress. Click here to read the full article.

Are you tired? Are you tired of trying to keep up?

You already know about it. You’re far more aware that this problem has struck you and has been a tremendous hassle for you and for your writing career. But, did you do anything about it? Or, have you let it slide and live with it like the air you breathe?

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It was a flash of an image that haunted me for a second. “How could I possibly forget this?” I told myself moments after it showed me the moment when I went to a nearby store, around two streets away from our house.

This happened only a few hours ago when I saw a fashion sketch that blew my mind away not because it was spectacular. The fact is, it’s only an ordinary one with a few traces of turquoise-colored ink around the black strokes to form a figure of a woman with a dress.

I have no idea what happened or what caused it. All I can say is that it was an event that would likely change the direction of my life in contrast to how I always see it. A life with purpose.

Did something like that happen to you lately, too?

How My Perfectionism Resolved To Forget A Precious Memory

At the wee hours of the evening, I find myself typing in the words that bogged my mind hours after I saw the image of myself, more or less ten years old.

A young girl walked underneath while enduring the pain, as if thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of needles poked her delicate skin to go to that specific store where they sell paper dolls.

Unlike other kids who shared their collections with their friends, I was often alone while personifying each doll I bought from my one Philippine peso allowance.

It was as if they’re alive and shared a strong bond, though they weren’t. Talking to them was probably an unconscious thought to escape from my lonely reality.

Remembering that scene led to recalling the succeeding events at that time. From the time I walked towards the store to the time I drew a countless number of fashion designs on a piece of paper and cut them to fit the paper dolls.

Believing that a single sight of imperfection is absolutely unacceptable and unnecessary is a tyranny we built for the sake of our ego. Without realizing how uncertain and unstable our goals we create for our future.

How I Found The Missing Piece At The Most Crucial Time

If it weren’t for that image I saw on Pinterest today, I wouldn’t have the chance to cherish those little events in my life that would unknowingly make an impact on how I see and evaluate my situation as an adult.

I spent most of my later years preoccupied with responsibilities while chasing what everyone calls a “dream”—collecting as many accolades as possible, thinking they would quench the unknown thirst of my soul.

Pursuing excellence in everything was once a personal belief I strongly and strictly adhered to, and I admit until now with a few tendencies time by time.

There was no such thing as “margin of error” or “Practice makes it perfect.” type of thought. Absolute perfectionism to the core right from the start was.

I embraced all that, as well as its inevitable consequences, good and bad, leaving no allowance given for me to step back and reflect on my goals, whether they truly exist in my heart or care to live inside my veins at all.

Besides, I didn’t have the time to reconcile and think about the possibilities of my goals because others have already assigned them to me. It’s living like a princess who continually lives as an ignorant without a choice. She never experienced buying anything from a store as others have already done it for them.

Every writer’s worst enemy isn’t the lack of the skill itself. It’s our distorted outlook towards becoming a better writer, resulting in our inability to finish the work.

How My Childhood Memory Plays A Pivotal Role In My Adult Life

Forgetting pieces of myself is sad and painful, at the same time, a humbling experience to say the least. It’s like reading Jesus’s story from the time of his birth towards his adult life, skipping most of his young adult life.

Similarly, my recurring thoughts about my childhood remain the same without noticing how much I have forgotten about myself. I failed to notice the smallest events that could play a pivotal role in creating a clear path to where my life goes.

Photo credits: Maria Lupan on Unsplash

While I’m in this midst of confusion, watching these sudden flashes of images reminds me of that blissful moment with my paper dolls and sketching dresses on a piece of paper, gluing each of them on cardboard to replace each dress I want and put the boring mass-produced ones aside.

It also gave me a chance, a rare chance to re-evaluate my present well-being by asking, “What makes you happy? I mean, truly happy with pure joy and content. And nothing else.”

Becoming happy has been a lifelong learning journey for me, a life-driven purpose without clear answers until I slowly remember those times when I only felt the pureness of my soul—I often set aside believing it’s a complete waste of time due to embracing perfection in most of my adult life.

We can easily define it as procrastination or writer’s block, yet, we aren’t willing to accept that it is your religious perfectionism that truly stops you from making progress.

Perfection Is Nice, But It Needs A Balance.

There’s nothing wrong with embracing perfection in your life. However, you have to tone it down. It’s yet another painful and tough to do, especially if we have already led our lives that way for too long.

We got used to the feeling of trying to reach each goal with a guarantee of seeing only the best results, and we got comfortable with it.

In most cases, we prefer looking at the lack and not appreciating the process and the time we achieve it. And trying to look outside its boundaries is imminently challenging in which fear takes its first place.

We often believe the lack defines our work, which is why most writers end up writing nothing. We can easily define it as procrastination or writer’s block, yet, we aren’t willing to accept that it is your religious perfectionism that truly stops you from making progress.

For us, as long as it doesn’t give us the best, it’s nothing worth our while. Doesn’t it?

With all these said, every writer’s worst enemy isn’t the lack of the skill itself. It’s our distorted outlook towards becoming a better writer, resulting in our inability to finish the work.

To prove, let me ask you. How many articles do you have yet unfinished? How many books have you written that are left on the shelves wrapped with dust?

You see, the amount of unfinished work you have on your desk or computer says it all. I know and understand how guilty you might feel right now as soon as you remember them, your precious craft, at this moment.

It’s not easy to let perfection go, especially when we choose to remain victims and avoid challenging the tyranny perfection has allowed establishing inside us. As you may know, simply accepting the fact that our idealized version of success is impossible is enough.

For instance, it’s impossible to write a perfect draft of any piece you want. Writing your thoughts for the first time will always be a difficult choice and will never pass your standards… yet.

It has to go through what we call the “writing process” which takes time and effort to do without exempting someone, not even the most seasoned and the best writers in our fields.

If this is the truth, how can someone like you ignore it and choose to live in the impossible? Is it your ego? Isn’t it?

How many articles do you have yet unfinished? How many books have you written that are left on the shelves wrapped with dust?

Needless to say, perfection doesn’t help in everything if we only look at it as the ideal. Believing that a single sight of imperfection is absolutely unacceptable and unnecessary is a tyranny we built for the sake of our ego. Without realizing how uncertain and unstable our goals we create for our future.

So, let’s not be too hard on ourselves. Learn to learn from our mistakes and enjoy the process of becoming better and successful writers. It takes time and effort, but you must trust yourselves more than how your egos dictate.

Are you willing to do it?

During these tough times due to the pandemic, it’s essential to help one another. If you think someone you know will find this article inspiring, please share this. I’d truly appreciate it.

If you want to voice out your thoughts about this article, I love to listen to you. Leave them in the comment section below. 🙂

By M Gaspary

She dedicates herself to teaching you how to become an irresistible writer. Discover the secrets here. Get access to her EXCLUSIVE library and download your FREE copies of her eBooks here.

2 comments

  1. This caught my attention and encouraged me:
    “Every writer’s worst enemy isn’t the lack of the skill itself. It’s our distorted outlook towards becoming a better writer, resulting in our inability to finish the work.”

    🥺

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