Tag Archives: OCD and writing

When Perfectionism Gets In the Way

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I’m not going to lie.

I’ve been having a tough time.

I’ve already deleted those two sentences twice.

While I don’t have OCD, I do have some obsessive traits which sometimes strangle me.

Has anyone noticed I haven’t been posting very much?

No? Good, that’s awesome.

Except it sucks.

Because I have actually been writing prolifically.

For days.

Last night, I was up until 2 AM working and reworking a piece about summer camp.

But I just can’t seem to bring myself to push PUBLISH.

When I first started this blog, I wrote with reckless abandon.

I was fearless.

But now I feel paralyzed.

So many of my cyber buddies manage to blog and publish books. While I am, of course, thrilled for them, I feel less than. I can’t understand what’s wrong with me. I know writing a book isn’t a race, but seriously? This thing is taking forever.

Clearly, I’m suffering from Comparison’s Disease, a 100% made-up syndrome coined by my husband to describe one of our friends — we’ll call him Tom — who is forever comparing one thing to something else.

Say we’re sitting at an outdoor cafe when a limousine blows by. Tom’ll be all: “Do you guys remember when we got caught behind that hearse?”

“Yeah,” I might say. “What’s your point?”

“Well, they’re both long and black.”

And then we’d laugh.

Because Tom’s Comparison’s Disease is funny.

Mine is different.

I’ve subscribed to a lot of blogs. Probably too many. Instead of inspiring me, I find myself losing steam.

Angry voices in my head shout at me.

The voices are pissed off and alternate between reminding me that I need to write better and faster and telling me that I suck. They tell me my words aren’t good enough, that I’ll never finish my book, that I should close up shop and get a job selling erotic toys or smoothies. Or something.

This post isn’t meant to be profound.

I just needed to confess that I’m feeling like a fraud.

Frankly, I just needed write something in 20 minutes.

To prove that I could.

I’ve been here before.

I’m sure I’ll dig my way out of this hole.

I just need to stop trying so hard for perfect.

Because perfect is the enemy.

I know this.

I just need to finish.

And look, 43 minutes later, I did.

Are you a perfectionist? What tricks do you have to keep moving forward when your brain is telling you everything you do is a terrible mistake?

tweet me @rasjacobson

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