Ask Sarah: Writing & Perfectionism

“I feel like I am different from others. I have so many opinions that I have to keep to myself because I am shy or afraid to see how people will react. So I write. When I started to write at first I thought it would be fine but the sense of perfection seems to flare up.

I want to write but I always delete it because I think it’s not good enough, and it’s never enough. Now, I feel like a useless person. My ability is only in writing, but I don’t have enough courage to write what I want to write. If you can help, I will really really really appreciate it.”

– Keysha

Hi Keysha,

I know exactly what you are saying. I have felt and still feel all of those things. I too, struggle with perfection and writing. I love to write, but never thought it was good enough. I want everything to be perfect before I show it to anyone.

But I got some advice a few months ago that I am going to pass along to you: do it scared. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Start writing without worrying about what people will say. Maybe even start with a journal that is just for you.

Then, when you have more confidence, maybe you could start a blog. When you take that step, know that it will take a while to build an audience. I cherished that thought when I started mine because I was scared for anyone to read what I wrote. It’s still hard for me sometimes, but it does get easier, especially when someone says “I’m so glad you wrote that! I feel the same way! Thank you for writing it and making me feel better!” That makes all the difference.

As far as perfection… Your first blog post is going to be terrible. Write it anyway. You can’t get to the second one or the tenth one or the one hundredth one without writing the first one. Write it knowing that it won’t be perfect, but knowing that you are learning and that you will get better. Keep writing; you’ll get better in no time!

Here’s a couple of resources for you:

How to Overcome Low Self Confidence

7 Keys to Confidence & Success for an INFJ

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