Friday, October 16, 2009

Little Miss Perfect Rears Her Snooty Head

I was going to do an evil post today about similes, but I decided Friday needs to be a positive day, so I’ll save the evil for Monday. :)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about perfectionism. I know that a lot of us crazy writers suffer from this disease. I definitely haven’t been spared.

It can be a good thing, and it pushes us to want to learn how to make our writing better and always put out our best work.


Most of the time, I think it’s more a hindrance than a help. Often, it keeps the words from flowing, because for some reason, I think I can do it perfect the first time. We all know this is impossible, but Little Miss Perfect refuses to accept it. She knows everything. Everything. She thinks she’s so smart. She’s kind of stuck up, actually, and most of the time, I don’t like her very much.

We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. I see typos and misspelled words all over the place. What’s the difference between others’ mistakes and my mistakes? When other people do it, I can let it go. Oh, must be a typo. No biggie. Or, She was in a hurry, because she’s really nice and tries to visit all the blogs she follows and leave thoughtful comments. All is forgiven.

If I make a mistake, my throat feels like it’s going to close up, and my mouse wielding hand is just itching to delete and fix it. It makes me crazy I can’t edit my comments. That’s part of the reason I don’t comment much, because it takes me so long to leave a comment. Everything I do must be proofread to perfection.

The main thing that makes me so crazy is I can’t let it go. Some of you probably noticed and were too nice to say anything, but my post from Monday had a typo in the title and a misspelled word in the body of the post. Nothing serious, but it’s going to bother me for a while. Even though it’s all fixed now. Neurotic? Yes. Can it be helped? I don’t know. I’m guessing, unlikely.

So, now for the positive point of this post. In the midst of striving for perfection, we often forget our best qualities and focus on the things we’re doing wrong. And we ALL have good, no, excellent qualities. Each and every one of us.

I know this is hard, but all humility and insecurity are being thrown to the wind today. Say goodbye.

Goodbye, humility. Goodbye, insecurity. I’m sure you’ll both find your way back soon.

I want to know what makes you awesome. It doesn’t have to be about writing. Whatever you want to share. Anything to give yourself a little boost before the weekend. :D

Don’t slink away and try to hide in the bloggy shadows. No one will boo your awesomeness here. :) I’ll give you a starter phrase:

I am awesome because…


I am awesome, because I make all of my kids’ Halloween costumes, so they get to be whatever they want. (I have to make up for all the time I spend writing/crafting/being generally distracted somehow.) Oh, and I think they’re the best dressed kids, every Halloween. :D That’s mine.

Now it’s your turn. Aaaand go!!


  1. Um.. because i had a horrible critique and I still haven't pulled out all my hair? Yeah, that makes me awesome ;)

  2. I'm awesome because I'm letting myself write a cliche-filled, grammatically spotty first draft, and not going back to fix it until I do my revisions.

    Excellent timing for this post, my dear! Awesome, as always, and OMG, is that the cutest little doggy, or what?! ;)

  3. Eeeek, my horoscope said not to toot my horn loudly today and you want me to say I'm awesome! But since I'm feeling all deep and confessional, I'll say: I'm awesome because I pick myself up and go on, even when it hurts. And, I guess, as a writer facing critique and rejection, that's a good ability.

  4. This is hard! Okay, I'm awesome because even though I'm an introvert, I get out there and do social things that terrify me. And I make a good meatloaf.

  5. Wow, I'm impressed by the Halloween costume make-age. I don't do anything like that.

    I'm awesome because I'm on level 26 on farmville. Take that! LOL!

  6. You are awesome! I wish I had sewing skills. My kids have to be whatever is cheapest at Old Navy :)

    I am awesome because I have 3 kids 5 and under and still managed to write a book-- and a pretty good one ,if I do say so myself :)

  7. I am awesome because I haven't killed my children today. They are home and are fighting like crazy.

    Seriously, though, I am awexome because I rewrote my first chapter for the tenth time, and I finally like it.

  8. I am awesome have four amazing kidlets and an out of the world spouse creature. O:)

  9. T. Anne: That is pretty awesome. My fingernails always suffer when I get a rough critique.

    Tere: I'm so jealous. Really. I've yet to figure how to make that happen. You're awesome! :)

    Tricia: Very cool! I'm terrible at that. I like to wallow, drag it out. :)

    MG: That's amazing! I'm an introvert too, but I don't do much social. I like to hide in my cave. :D

    Elana: Thanks! Farmville keeps trying to suck me in. Good job! :)

    Natalie: Thanks! You're pretty awesome yourself! When my kids were that little (ages 0, 1, and 3 at one point), I just felt like a crazy lady most of the time. Actually accomplishing anything of that magnitude was kind of a joke. I was just happy when I got my house clean. :)

    Susan: That's awesome! My kids have been home for two weeks on break, and everyone's still alive, so I know exactly how you feel. :) Isn't it awesome to feel good about your first chapter? Took me forever and about a gazillion rewrites too. Woohoo for you!!

    Danyelle: Your children are a product of you and your teachings, so that definitely makes you awesome! :)

  10. I'm awesome because my kids are really good people and I'm not which means I must have done a fantastic job rewriting myself which means I must be a VERY TALENTED revisionist. :)

  11. Suz: I like your logic. :) And I don't know what you're talking about, saying you're not good people. I know, and I'm sure everyone who knows you will agree, you are good people. :D

  12. Great post, Abby! I think we all share your Perfectionist Disease to the max. I can absolutely empathize... it makes me crazy!

    I am awesome because I hammered out a short story yesterday. Seriously, this is a major breakthrough for me. I have a desperately hard time finishing those, and I just taught myself I can :). Yay!