Sunday, September 25, 2011

Writing Perfection Syndrome

That's me. I'll begin writing a scene. I have it pictured in my head where it plays out perfectly. But on paper, to me, it seems lacking the pizazz I had first pictured. I'll attempt to 'fix' it over and over again. but by the time I'm done, I believe I have ruined its essence I had started out with.

This is how I used to be. I've become better about the 'perfection' thing. I'd never heard of perfection syndrome. Too funny because when I typed in the title for this post, I thought, 'I wonder if there is a such thing.'

Lo and behold, there is. And thankfully I don't have it as bad as some do. I've somewhat disciplined byself. I've had to tell me it's okay if something isn't absolutely perfect. I'm able to participate in NaNo and allow myself to write freely without editing until the end. I still get a little frustrated, but I push myself forward. That's probably half the reason it had taken me so long to finish Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.

I still have a small problem with mistyping words and wanting to go back immediately to fix them. Even as I type up this post, the red underlines are driving me a little batty.

Anyone else have this problem?


  1. The one thing I don't have a problem with is mistyping. As long as that little red line comes up, I know that spell check will pick it up at the end of a session. It was the other stuff that I had a problem with. The descriptions, dialogue, action...yeah, everything. Finally I realised that fixing something is easier than creating it, so I just make a mad dash to the end in a quick first draft with a view to spending a lot of time editing :-)

  2. I started my first novel a little over a year ago and while I know where I want to go with it, I am having some frustration with thinking that I am going to be the only one that likes it and I keep going back and changing things to the point where it doesn't look anything like what I started out with. So then I change it back. I think I have to learn to leave well enough alone. I am doing my first NaNo this year and am really looking forward to it. I hope I can finish.

  3. Hi Donna,

    Great post, I also keep going back to edit each and every sentence before moving forward. Everybody keeps saying just to move forward and fill up the pages, but for me it simply can't happen like that.

  4. Sarah-That's the way I'm attempting to work on. Mad dashing :)

    ladydragonfly- NaNo is what's teaching me how to just write the book first and worry about edits later. You'll do great.

    Nas-I struggle with it. I'm hoping it gets easier with each one.

  5. Ahhh! I'm so jealous! I wish I had a magic "off" button for my inner editor!

  6. I have resigned myself to writing crap first drafts, and I'm okay with that! I just tell myself 'fix it later' and move on. :)

  7. Thanks to spell check and such I tend to correct as I go. And I do like for my sentences to sound just write and the words I use to be the correct ones. Free writing is somewhat difficult for me because I have a difficult time turning off my internal editor.

    Tossing It Out

  8. Alison- it took a long time and still there are times where that nagging little voice says 'that's the wrong way, bad grammer, etc'. Drives me a little mad.

    Talli- That's what I've learned to do too.

    Arlee- That's what I do with the spell check. I usually get as far as the end of the paragraph and those lines glare at me.