Publishing a Book: How to Cope with The Writer's Perfectionism
Aug 25, 2023
Writing requires dedication. Before publishing a book, reviewing the manuscript to polish it and achieve an even better result is necessary. But in some instances, perfectionism can make this task an uphill struggle, and the author may never be satisfied with the final result. Even the smallest detail can be subject to change, a process that prevents the work from reaching, in the eyes of its creator, a quality sufficient for it to be published.
Writers too often cross the fine line between being careful and perfectionism. And before you know it, you can find yourself caught up in it, tinkering with your manuscript to unsuspected limits. That is why, in this article, we want to teach you how to deal with this situation so that you don't end up losing the great opportunity of publishing a book.
What causes perfectionism?
Fear is the great origin of the writer's perfectionism. While your dream is to see your book published, the terror that you will not like it pushes you back, and you will never look favorably on your manuscript. There will always be a word that deserves some change, an element that could be improved, or a passage that could be better explained... But at the end of the day, all these tweaks only seek one thing: to reach an impossible point.
You may believe you have no talent, so you are always looking for a new chance to get as close as possible to the great books you have already read. There is also the fear of failure, of criticism, of someone judging (and not in a good way) your work. But you must face this challenge.
Yes, your book will also receive negative reviews. But writing a book and having a publisher allow you to publish it is already a big step. Let yourself be guided by the eyes of other people who believe in this manuscript, take advice, and don't be afraid of anything.
Do you feel identified with these feelings? Do you think that fear can defeat you in your literary adventure? Don't worry! There is a remedy for everything in a writer's life, even perfectionism. Here are 5 tips to face it:
Remember, it's your dream
Writing should be something rewarding, never a chore that causes you pain. If you dream of publishing a work, don't let perfectionism stop you from achieving it. It is acceptable that you want to accomplish this goal in the best possible way and do not settle for doing it anyway, but remember to accept your limits.
How often does fear block us and prevent us from being who we want to be? Ask yourself if such a block is acceptable or worth being so demanding that your dreams are not fulfilled. Wouldn't you like to have a book on your bookshelf whose authorship is yours? Let's move on to the next tip.
Excellence is not perfectionism
Don't touch it anymore. That's the way the rose is. Achieving excellence is possible, but perfection is not. There will always be someone who doesn't like your book or some possible change (which may cause another audience to repudiate your pages).
Be clear about your objective, focus on who you want to address, and you will have a good starting point. Work on this orientation, stay within this path, and the results will come by themselves. When you finish and see your book become a reality, you will understand that so much perfectionism is unacceptable.
Remember your strengths
We will tell you a secret, writer, you have talent! And deep down, we know you know it too. Instead of focusing so much on your flaws, enhance your strengths and ensure they are well-printed in your book. When perfectionism blocks you, stop momentarily and remember what you excel at.
Take your time
Sometimes finishing something is much better than doing nothing. Just take a simple attitude towards things. You don't want to write the perfect essay when your child comes to you and asks: "Daddy, please help me do my essay for free." You will just write it as well as you can at the moment, but not perfect.
According to this law, 80% of the results result from 20% of the efforts. Identify this small percentage and work to make it the protagonist in the writing process, expand it and reinforce this side until you reach the best possible end for your book. Don't let yourself be tempted by other paths.
And remember Voltaire's quote: "The perfect is the enemy of the good".