Check Yourself for These 7 Symptoms of the Blogger’s Curse3 min read

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:

  1. You start writing, stop half way and hit delete
  2. You often feel like you are your own worst critic
  3. You never feel like you’ve done the best you could
  4. You second-guess your ideas, even when you know better
  5. Other bloggers make you feel inadequate
  6. There’s always something more to learn
  7. 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.


Join the conversation

comment 17 comments
  • gregorylambpdxauthor

    Yup, Sometimes I am that guy. I will spend an hour or two writing an article to post on a blog and either post or pull it down right away. The worst is when I want to retract something but can’t. Then I discover those are the posts that usually get the most traffic and positive comments.

  • Francine P.H.

    I feel that way sometimes in blogging and with my art…just not happy enough with what I’ve done.

    • Faith'sPen

      I go through the same motions of the symptoms you highlighted.

      However, I ignore the internal editor.

      She can rant for all I care. But I still get to work.

      Result is the end product, right?

      That’s what matters.

  • 🌸Mase🌸

    I feel this way more often than not to the point that I want to stop writing altogether. Thanks for yet another inspiring piece to keep going.

  • the most constant

    Definitely some good points to remember. I find connecting through blogging (with other bloggers as well as non-bloggers) not as easy as connecting through social media. I disabled all social media last year and the only thing I miss is the ease of use/engaging of those platforms.

  • Blog Lady 77

    Here’s another one. You have an internal conflict, vacillating between relaxing/being creative and editing in real time. You’re on a roll of inspiration and expression, and suddenly you stop and gasp in terror. At that point, you cease being creative and start re-reading what you’ve written. You switch over and start obsessing over whether you’re leaving kibbles behind for the grammar nazis and ‘real’ writers/bloggers to come behind and silently critique. I know that I fight this battle any time I’m trying to write humor that I intend to sound conversational.

  • moomorpublishing

    Your advice is good regarding creating a post and then letting it rest for a bit before going over it in the editing mode prior to posting. That gives the eyes (and brain) a rest. I also recommend reading the post aloud while editing. It’s easier to catch a missing, extra or misspelled word that way. It is also helpful in catching instances where a comma is needed (or superfluous).

  • retrodee

    Sometimes I look back at something I posted and think it’s awful, how could I share that? It has more to do with the content than my writing skills, but I sometimes question those too. But if I kept second guessing my writing, I wouldn’t have a blog would I?

  • sunda10

    see I always see myself as a student in any area of life. so when you are a student you know you are never perfect. so perfectionism is the goal and trying to get the goal is the journey. Till you achieve it yes you have to endure several hurdles which is in our mind . Anyhow one thing writing is definitely an art. To do it in a structural and organized way is combination of these two makes this journey predictable of reaching our goal. I feel so do you agree.

  • iamvhardik

    Sometimes the idea is stuck in my head but it does not come out on to the editor, but then you have to stick with the idea if you want to put the opinion out there.

  • WildHeart

    I can totally relate to this!! I criticized myself so bad that I altogether took down my previous blog. All my writings were only for my diary, and I didn’t want to share it with anyone. It got worse once I started working as a copywriter. The pressure of the entire team to give the perfect copy and not having the perfect words. Then, rejections after rejections… That sucked! Until I dared to write crap and show that crap, build on that crap. Well, that worked for me. Cause not all things that look crap at the beginning is crap, it could be pure gold. 😋😅😅 Cheers to writing crap!

  • Lexy Barnes

    This entire post hit the spot. It’s so hard combatting the editor within me whenever I start writing blog posts. It’s like this battle with perfectionism is neverending.

    • Cristian Mihai

      To paraphrase Salvador Dali, have no fear of perfection. You will never reach it. Just do your best. That’s the most anyone can do.

  • kittypiggy

    I sometimes stop myself from writing because I feel that my language and grammar is bad. But I force myself not to give up and find a way to improve my grammar and read more. If I stop there, I will never learn and forever, I will never improve my grammar. =) Thank You…

  • ManDaRose

    Yup totally this person. + depression. I feel like getting rid of my older posts too..

  • Anna

    Nicely written and well said. I will try to keep the editor at bay to let the writer write! 🙂

  • kittyskorner

    What works for me is writing longhand first. I know I’m not going to edit a handwritten page as I’m going along. It’s too much of a pain. I know I’ll edit when I type what I’ve written a day or so later. At that time, I’ll add and refine. I’m blessed to have a friend who enjoys my writing and is willing to check my grammar and spelling.

    If perfectionism hits, it will be before I even start to write. What I most often end up hearing within is: “Other people have already written this. What can you possibly add to it that would be of any value?” After all, there are no really new ideas, there are just a lot of ways of saying the same thing. I remind myself that I have a unique voice and it’s worth hearing.

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