Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How To Escape Perfectionism

This article by Peter Bregman discusses how one can stop focusing so much on getting everything exactly right and just do it. As a professional worrier and detail freak, I found this article inspirational the first time I read it, but sometimes I still need to be reminded not to obsess over every detail as I write.

One of my favorite quotes that I think sums up the article is when he writes,

"Perfectionists have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them. At the beginning, it's they who aren't ready. At the end, it's their product that's not. So either they don't start the screenplay or it sits in their drawer for ten years because they don't want to show it to anyone.

But the world doesn't reward perfection. It rewards productivity. And productivity can only be achieved through imperfection. Make a decision. Follow through. Learn from the outcome. Repeat over and over and over again. It's the scientific method of trial and error. Only by wading through the imperfect can we begin to achieve glimpses of the perfect."

That last is how I make myself get through a first draft. For those who haven't yet, it may be how you achieve the same.

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