“I believe that basically you write for two people; yourself to try to make it absolutely perfect; or if not then wonderful. Then you write for who you love, whether she can read or write or not and whether she is alive or dead.” – Ernest Hemingway
Writers are known to be perfectionists. We strive to make every scene, every word and piece of grammar perfect. But we should be striving for good as perfectionism keeps us from completing. So how good is “good enough” when it comes to writing?
While you should always be honing your craft, you don’t necessarily need to beat yourself up with perfectionism. There are ways and tools that can help you create good pieces.
Good writing is good enough when it evokes emotion. It’s good enough when it connects things. Good writing is good enough when it tells a story the reader relates to. This is how you know you writing is good enough.
Good writing is free of misspellings, doesn’t have a lot of grammar issues and it flows well, meaning it’s not choppy and doesn’t jump around. Good writing gets the point across without rambling. Good writing tells the story in a cohesive, logical way.
Writers are notorious for judging themselves against other writers. These other writers have better vocabularies or have slicker prose. They seem to be the best of the group. It makes others believe they have to have a formal education and be perfect in their writing.
So how do you break away from the perfectionism?
- Shift your mindset to one that believes that good enough is okay.
- Learn to stop. Don’t overanalyze your work.
- Become comfortable with imperfection. You will make mistakes. It’s okay to miss some of them.
- Stop comparing yourself to other writers. Set your own bar and reach for it. Try to do better than your last written piece each time.
- Strive for your best, not perfectionism.
Fill your story with emotions, describe your characters with details, let your creativity run free and then let the writing be good enough to let the piece be finished.
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