Beating Perfection Syndrome so you can write

Written by Angela Booth


Copyright 2002 by Angela Booth

It's Saturday afternoon. Your partner has takenrepparttar kids torepparttar 129418 park. You have a whole hour to write. Instead of which, you sit, staring outrepparttar 129419 window like Rodin's Thinker in jeans and a yellow sweatshirt. Why aren't you writing? A tiny item called Perfection Syndrome. You want whatever you write in this precious hour to be perfect.

Duringrepparttar 129420 week, you had a stream of plausible ideas. You wrote three ideas in your notebook: an article about children's first words (your six month old said 'truck'), an essay about male vanity, and a short story about a blonde with tattooed arms and a poodle.

Just now, none of those ideas seems right. You've only got an hour, so you wantrepparttar 129421 perfect idea,repparttar 129422 one that will justifyrepparttar 129423 sixty minutes you're about to spend on it. Instead, you do nothing.

Perfection Syndrome can destroy your writing career. It's a killer, because if you don't recognise it for what it is, it leads to apathy. The gap between what's in your head and what manifests onrepparttar 129424 page is so wide that you may give up writing for days or weeks.

I understand Perfection Syndrome, because it's something I battle every day. The words onrepparttar 129425 screen orrepparttar 129426 page never measure up torepparttar 129427 words in my head. I start typing, and after a sentence or two, stop. The words "this is garbage" light up like neon in my skull, my stomach clenches, and I feel as if a ten ton weight had dropped onto my body. It's not as if I'm a new writer. I've been writing for over 20 years. Intellectually, I understand that it's important to get words ontorepparttar 129428 screen --- any words. You can fix whatever you write. Emotionally, I wantrepparttar 129429 first draft to be perfect. I've accepted that perfectionism is part of my personality, and without a personality transplant, I'm never going to get rid of it, so all I can do is out-write it.

Yes, out-write it. A practice that's helped is Julia Cameron's Morning Pages method, which is detailed in her books: The Artist's Way, and Vein of Gold. The first thing I do each morning is write three pages in longhand. This primesrepparttar 129430 pump, and if I accomplishrepparttar 129431 Morning Pages, I know that I can count on a productive writing day, and Perfection Syndrome is beaten for this 24 hours at least.

Updating my inner "writer" image also helped. Images arerepparttar 129432 language ofrepparttar 129433 right brain andrepparttar 129434 subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind isrepparttar 129435 engine which drives you. My initial image of my writing self was of a mountain climber, clinging to vertical rock and ice, unable to seerepparttar 129436 mountain peak, but terrorized by a crevasse below. No wonder I needed every word to be perfect, ifrepparttar 129437 alternative was death. A more nourishing image popped into my mind. I saw my writing self as a seed-sower,repparttar 129438 old-time kind, with a deep hessian bag of seeds, walking alongrepparttar 129439 furrows of a field of fertile soil, scattering seeds with both hands. Now, whenever I feel panicked about my writing, I visualize myself asrepparttar 129440 sower, scattering those seeds. Ask yourself what image you hold of yourself as a writer.

Introduction to Document Design: Visual Organization

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander


This article may be reprinted in your ezine, on your website, or in your print newsletter provided 1. You includerepparttar article in its entirety, unchanged; 2. You include my byline andrepparttar 129416 resource box atrepparttar 129417 end; and 3. You notify me of intent to publish and send a courtesy copy or link.

Introduction to Document Design: Visual Organization --(c)2002 by Linda Alexander

Good document design helps readers find and understand information more quickly. It can help organizations and company save time and money. Therefore, before you begin writing, and again before writing your final draft, consider these tips for making your document's design aid inrepparttar 129418 clarity of your communication.

1. Before even processingrepparttar 129419 text, readers should get a sense ofrepparttar 129420 document's structure through visual clues such as white space, headings, subheads, bold face, different size fonts, numbered lists, charts, etc.

2. Give them a sense ofrepparttar 129421 organization quickly, and make surerepparttar 129422 text supports that organization and comprehension will be helped before your audience even begins to read your document.

3. Rather than trying to fit everything in by reducing font size, good editing eliminates unnecessary words and sentences. Is your message consistent? Is it unique and appropriate for your audience? Does your writing make it easy for readers to understand your meaning?

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