Perfect is no place for a writer. Listen to me: you will never write a perfect novel, short story, essay, blog post, sentence. Everything you write will be criticized. If it’s not, then it has been ignored. I Am A Child by Tayrawr Fortune Your job is not to write perfect sentences. Stop thinking it is. No one will praise you. They will either ignore or criticize you. (Even if you are lauded, you will care more about the criticism than the praise.) That is your fate if you want to write. I want to write. So I will write pieces that are open to criticism (even from myself). Pieces that I know are imperfect. I will publish them anyway. You have to write something you’re not an expert in. You have to begin the novel you aren’t ready to begin. You have to write the blog post that is immature and incomplete. This idea that you will be perfect is a myth. It is a lie from the enemy of creativity, the one who wants to destroy your life. You will never be perfect.

Why This Is a Good Thing

Because your readers aren’t perfect either. And how could you ever relate to them in your writing if you were perfect? People don’t need you to be perfect for them. They need you to be so completely honest about yourself and the world that they realize they are not alone. There’s someone out there who gets it. (For those people who demand perfection—and are disappointed when you don’t measure up—you don’t need them.) The opposite of perfectionism is vulnerability, and vulnerability is the source of joy. So it comes down to this: do you want to be perfect or do you want to be happy?

PRACTICE

The most vulnerable (and therefore interesting) people are children. Spend fifteen minutes describing a child, either fictional or non-fictional. When you’re finished, post your “portrait” of the child in the comments.

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).