the good, the bad, and the ugly about the writing life

Biggest blocks to writing: a most perfect look at perfectionism (Part II)

If you can’t write fiction unless you find the exact right word in the exact right tone, you may be a victim of perfectionism. Writing Coach, Lora Freeman Williams, has some useful insights as well as some pointers about how to deal with it. Find out more about Lora’s coaching practice and new book, The Wilderness of Motherhood, at her blog.


Okay, that was a joke. It never hurts to lighten-up about perfectionism. Let’s just face, from the beginning, that we won’t do this perfectly. And that’s okay.

Let’s pretend for a moment you’re one of my coaching clients, and I’ve given you the assignment to write out your goals in eight different areas of life (i.e., social, physical, spiritual, family, personal, professional, financial, mental), both long-term and short-term. It’s a big assignment – I don’t expect you to get it done in a week. You’ve been working on it, and now you’ve hit a wall. 

One of the first walls people hit is perfectionism. This post is about blocks to writing, but if you suffer from perfectionism, it’s likely to show up in multiple areas of life. If you’re a perfectionist, you might hear yourself saying things like:

What if I pick the wrong goals?

What if I don’t like…

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