Last Word

Break free of perfectionism in your writing

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.”
–Anne Lamott
How often has your writing felt stifled, limited or boxed in? It could be that you’ve managed to walk your plot or your characters into a tiny, little corner.


Flickr: Kenny Louie

Or it could also be that you are bound into knots by your own need for perfection. The perfect resolution. The perfect phrase. The perfect adjective.
Free yourself and your narrative from perfectionism with the following tips:
Let go of the fear. Because that’s what perfectionism is. It’s a fear of being judged or misunderstood by others. Resolve to write what feels right to you and not to your perceived critics.
Understand that perfection is unattainable. You will never settle on the perfect word because it does not exist. What you find pleasing, may not be so to others. And that’s OK. Strive only for your best work.
Here’s an idea – switch things up and decide that you will see the good in everything you see and write. Sprinkle love into every sentence. And sentence fragment. Make a decision to find beauty there.
Finally, write as though you are not you. Adopt an alter ego that is fearless and brazen and a little naughty. Name this person and let her help you break down some of your personal writing barriers.
What tips do you have for freeing yourself of the perfectionist oppressor that speaks doubt to your soul? Share in the comments section below.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at
Kerri S. Mabee

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