Are you burdened by the blogger’s curse?
Many a blogger is hindered with a trait that damages productivity and constrains their ultimate potential.
See if you recognize any of these seven symptoms in yourself:
- You start writing, stop half way and hit delete
- You often feel like you are your own worst critic
- You never feel like you’ve done the best you could
- You second-guess your ideas, even when you know better
- Other bloggers make you feel inadequate
- There’s always something more to learn
- Writing would be so much more enjoyable if you could just relax
Thankfully, if you do recognize any of the above symptoms, you are definitely not alone. In fact, I would say each and every blogger I’ve met has felt the same at least once (and likely more often then they’d like to admit).
So relax, this curse doesn’t have to be permanent and is simple to treat. It even has a name.
Perfectionism: The Blogger’s Curse
The first thing to realize is that writing requires two different modes.
Your main mode is what we usually identify with, which is the writing process itself. This is putting words down on the page.
In the second mode you go from writer to editor. This is where you clean, edit, critique, format, and ultimately decide when you are done.
Who’s in charge?
Our perfectionism problem starts when we confuse the two modes. As we put words on paper, the editor starts butting in, critiquing as we go along. Rather than allow the words to flow, we keep stopping and starting, and worrying.
It’s no wonder we find it so hard to get to the end of a page when we have two personalities battling for control of the keyboard!
Edit but don’t agonize
As I mentioned, the editor part of us also gets to decide when we’re finished. The problem is, our internal editor loves to edit and is frankly a little lacking in the self-esteem department. Given a free reign and no deadline, your internal editor would keep editing long after the ice caps have melted.
In fact, in most cases our editor need not worry so much, given an opportunity to relax and let the writing flow, our first attempts are generally better than we think. Of course it’s good to edit, but I never do it right away.
Come back to your writing with even a small break in between and it’s far easier to be objective.
No blogger is an island
Finally, don’t feel as if you’re all alone in the process. Perfectionism affects nearly everyone, especially when they reach a certain level.
When you develop taste, so to speak, which is the ability to discern between good and bad, and even recognize great.
It’s then that you realize there’s quite the gap between what you realize is great work and what you yourself are doing.
Now, the only thing to do about this gap is to work hard. That’s it. Don’t stress about it, don’t worry about it, don’t wish it away. It’s not going away. It’s an internal voice that tells you to keep going.
You’re not there yet.
Want to know a secret?
No one ever is. That’s why we keep writing.
Are you too hard on yourself? How do you manage your internal editor? Let me know in the comments section below.