Being A Perfectionist Will Ruin Your Blog

ruinAs the light breaks through my curtains, I slowly open my eyes, stretch then reach over to my phone to check the time.

Great, it’s not even 9am yet, I feel well rested and I have the entire day ahead of me.

I respond to any Whatsapp and text messages, check Instagram and upload a few posts. I browse through my Instagram feed for a few minutes then I get out of bed.

10am… already? OK, maybe I spent more than a few minutes on my phone… Actually it’s not too bad and it’s still early. I’ll journal, do a bit of yoga and meditation, shower, eat and then get stuck into some writing.

I should be started by 11:30am at the latest. That’s plenty of time to get a couple of drafted blog posts written.

11:30am… stretched, watered and fed. I’ll just quickly wash these dishes and load the washing machine. In fact I may as well prepare lunch and dinner while I’m in the kitchen so it’s out of the way and I can concentrate on writing once I’m at my laptop.

1pm… a little later than planned, but I’ve got a lot done around the house. Plus lunch and dinner are prepped which will save me time later. I’ll quickly check my social media accounts, post some updates and respond to any comments. I may as well check my email too while I’m at it to get the admin stuff out of the way and then I can focus on writing.

2:30pm… stomach growls, back aches. I better get up from the laptop for a stretch and eat something. The washing machine is flashing at me, so I better hang out the laundry; I’m not a fan of that distinct smell clothes have when they’ve been left wet for too long.

4:30pm… Wait, FOUR THIRTY PM! How did it get so late? I haven’t written a thing! Seriously, what the hell! The day began with such promise… Have I really just wasted another day I could have spent writing?

For a long time, this was my life and a regular cycle when working from home.

I knew I could write. I wanted to write. So why didn’t I write?!

I wrote in my journal daily. But when the time came to write for my blog, it just wouldn’t happen – unless I had a deadline.

I felt this physical resistance to writing for my blog and I just could not work out what it was.

I knew I wanted my blog to offer value. I have a lot to say and a lot to share. I know how to write and I enjoy writing, yet when it was time to write, I did not write.

I thought, do I lack commitment? Am I just plain lazy?

The frustration was overwhelming.

I felt like a failure and a fraud. It was like having a cut that I would continuously pick and as a result would not heal.

I would repeatedly torture myself with negative self-talk and I felt like I would never achieve my goals.

Recently however, after breaking a commitment I made with a friend to write a blog post, the crux of my problem with writing – or my inability to write – finally became clear.

I resist writing because it’s hard work.

I don’t mean effort-wise. I mean it takes mental strength to fight my need to write a perfect post every time.

I am a perfectionist. It is a problem that forces me to ignore logic. It causes me to do things that I know are not in my best interests.

Despite knowing in my mind what I should do, the perfectionist in me ignores this and focuses on making sure everything is perfect.

Perfectionism is a form of fear. Fear of getting it wrong or people not liking or approving.

Being a perfectionist does not only mean doing things continuously until they’re just right. It also means doing nothing when I cannot see a possible way to do something perfectly.

Despite knowing when I sit down to write that it is just a first draft, the perfectionist in me cannot help but want to write the mother of all blog posts, first time around.

I want to write, edit and format all at once and I want the outcome to be perfect.

The logical side of my brain knows how ridiculous and unrealistic that is, yet it has been holding me back for as long as I can remember.

With this new sense of awareness, I decided to change my approach to writing.

My brain associates working at the laptop with producing “perfect” work so I would feel intimidated every time I sat down to write.

Now, rather than sitting at my laptop to write my first draft, I use the Memo app on my Blackberry phone.

My mobile is something I’ve always used for quick notes or messages so my brain does not make the association with perfection, as it recognizes my phone as a tool for imperfect work.

There is no way to format so I literally just write.

Such a simple, yet effective strategy.

I don’t think I’ll ever be “cured” of my perfectionist problem and I still feel the pull of procrastination daily, however I can now see how simple methods can be put in place to avoid being paralyzed by the need for perfection.

How is your blog being sabotaged by the perfectionist in you?

What strategies do you use to overcome the need for perfection?

  • This has been me for at least the last month or so. I’m also a perfectionist and I’ve been feeling like whenever I sit down to write it HAS to be some profound piece but I just haven’t had it in me, which means I haven’t been writing much. It’s very paralyzing! So glad to know I’m not the only one who has struggled with this. Thank you for sharing your strategy for overcoming the problem, Leanne!


  • I think I need to look into OneNote. Not that I need yet another program to use but I like to try out new things and I have been hearing a lot about it.

  • This is the story of my life!!! I always want to write yet can’t but look through my notes and it’s all tons of words of inspiration. Earlier today I wanted to post something and I got intimidated when I opened my laptop so I wrote it on my phone first then did final edits and there you have it. Published!

  • Ha! This is me! I have all these ideas but I can’t put them on the screen because I lose the “perfect” words once I start clicking on my keyboard. Perfectionism surely does lead to procrastination. Maybe my brain equates the keyboard with being one step closer to published. I’ve found that I can produce more when I scribble my notes in a notebook first. But then I’m killing trees…

  • I’m glad you found it helpful. It could be fear of putting your words out into the world, I know that plays a part for me too.

  • Hey, I can so relate – as you can see from my post. Try doing something completely different like I did. Maybe start by just outlining a post and commit to adding a sentence to it each day and see how you get on with it. I know how frustrating it can be and it took me a while to work out a way to override my perfectionist tendencies when it comes to my writing. Good luck. :)

  • Yes!! Good luck darling. I have been trying my best to be more organized so that I can plan posts instead of just having a million ideas ha ha.

  • This is definitely my process a lot of the time when blogging – but I don’t think I’m a perfectionist so I’m not sure where it stems from?? Maybe I’ve just never thought of myself as one. Great read though, this is still really helpful!

  • M Lashawn

    My therapist told me a few years ago that I was a perfectionist and I didn’t believe it. Apparently it only applies to my writing. I will avoid writing on my blog if I don’t have the perfect thing to say or the perfect photo. This has caused me to not post for the entire month of March so far. That leads me to feel ashamed and like a failure. I also have a few book projects I haven’t finished bc I don’t feel they are perfect enough Smh. I’m working on coming out of this but it’s not an easy task I tell you! Thanks for this great post!

  • Hey Rose, I have SO many drafts also! And now that I use my blackberry, I have even more as I tend to get a draft down and then add it to OneNote which I use to write and organise my posts. I think we have to find a system that works for us and like you say, aim to do our best and know we will keep improving the more consistent we are.

  • Yes Adia! And then the guilt of wasting the day so you end the day on a downer rather than feeling good about all you’ve achieved.

  • Yes, I blog part time too – it was really important for me to get a hold on this. Now I have a “work-around”, I feel more confident and I’m getting more done. I’ve had 2 guest posts published in the past few weeks and another accepted to be posted shortly. So it’s helping. :)

  • I can so relate to this. Especially having to blog part time, this can be debilitating and paralyzing. Thanks for sharing!

  • Oh wow. I can totally relate to this. Waking up bright and early, only to get distracted by the day and then realizing the day has passed by. This type of perfectionism totally kills your productivity!

    I loved reading this.

    Adia //

  • I was cringing as I read this because I can relate. *sigh* I love to write and I love to blog but some days I get so distracted with every little other thing. I want my posts to be polished and well-written and end up being frustrated and either save them as drafts (don’t even ask how many drafts I have sitting, just waiting to be edited) or don’t even attempt to write at all. What works for me is finding working on posts a little everyday and a couple times a week I get extremely inspired and knock out a bunch and schedule them to be published. For example, this weekend I wrote 7 posts which are scheduled to post this week and next, however, I will edit them a little at a time. I had to let go of the idea that it has to be completely perfect and just aim to do my best and KNOW that I did.


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