Day 29: Don’t be a Perfectionist

(Day 29) Don't be a Perfectionist

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.” –Anne Lamott

Here’s a good way to shut writer’s block down.

Give yourself permission–absolutely permission–to write the worst sentence that’s ever been written in human history.

Just put down words. Make sure they move your story forward.

The other part of Anne Lamott’s advice is to shut down the voices in your head so that you can produce a shitty first draft.

That voice says: no more words for you, until what you’ve already written is perfect.

And it’s such a reasonable voice.

I mean, what kind of idiot wouldn’t want their work to be perfect? Who WANTS to produce a shitty first draft? OF COURSE you have to get every word perfect.

I want you to actively flip that voice the bird. It’s not helping you. It’s doing its best to save you from the hard work of writing, but giving you something to do that feels like writing, but isn’t.

There is a time for perfectionism and it’s not when you’re working on a first draft.


Here’s all I want you to do today: write a really terrible sentence. Make it bad on purpose. More adverbs! Clunky attributions. Make it run on. Use a dangling participle. Whatever!


You may also like