Friday, October 12, 2012

How I Overcame Perfectionism (Almost)

Millions of people all over the globe fail to realize their potential because of perfectionism. Their standards are impossibly high. For them it's either a 10 out of a 10, or nothing else.

When I started blogging a few years back, I had just a trickle of visitors. Gradually, it grew, over the years. Some of the readers were following my posts. It gave a unique high to see people from all over the world visiting here. Experienced bloggers will scoff at this, that there is nothing special in it.

But to me, the increase in traffic did a wrong turn: I started writing lesser and lesser. I was afraid if my posts would match up to my readers' expectations.

And Rewriting. That was monstrous. It was such a pain that it almost turned me off writing.

There were so many rules of good writing: active voice, shorter sentences, second person, larger vocabulary, the right words,... I started feeling bogged down by the rules.

It was also hard not to be apprehensive of others' responses when you are writing on not-so-popular topics like enlightenment and spirituality.

The number of drafts started to pile up. They were just not good enough.

I had been struck by the 'perfectionism' virus.

Overcoming perfectionism- a simple cure

Luckily for me, it did not last for long. It came with the realization that to write without enjoying the process was a waste of time. How does a blog's traffic build up in the first place? Because the blog articles become better:
Bad > average > good > better > still better > ...

But how does the writing improve ? Because the blogger keeps on writing articles, good or bad.

If I did not write anything, nothing would change. The writing would not improve. Beginning bloggers' only hope of improving their writing is to write more and more, make more mistakes, and learn from them.

Talk about the 10,000 hour rule for achieving proficiency.

I was still in the process of falling in love with writing, and needed o stick with it. Rewriting would come later.

If you find scruffily written posts, you will have to excuse me. I am just a beginner, learning to feel my way around.

I've decided to just write--no matter what, good or bad.

Question: "What if the traffic goes down?"

Answer: If I keep writing, and have fun at it, hopefully my readers also would enjoy it. They definitely wouldn't enjoy pieces written just to fit grammar rule books.

So here it goes again,...just playing with ideas on the key board.

The cure for perfectionism seems to be: Being satisfied with low expectations. To not worry about others' expectations. To try new things and have fun. Making mistakes and learning in the process. 

This way you can only do one thing - Get better and better.

Yes, I didn't overcome perfectionism, that'd be another perfectionistic goal!
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