February 15, 2016 § Leave a comment


Anonymous fanfic-scrapping addict writes,

Long story short, I’m addicted to going ‘screw it’ and throwing all the fanfic I write in the fire. Why???

I want to write something! My writing’s not bad, is it? Everyone else likes it. My ideas aren’t too shabby. But every time I get past a few pages, I just feel the need to delete the whole thing and start over. It’s infuriating. Why can’t I finish any project?

Help please. I need to know why this is happening and why I keep rejecting my own headcanon.

Hi friend. I think the problem here is that you need to give yourself and your writing permission to be imperfect. No writer thinks everything they’ve published is perfect. If they do, this is what we call narcissistic personality disorder.

A story that’s good enough is always better than one that you never type out. Especially when it comes to fic. Think about how low your standards go when you’re starved for OTP fic? You will read just about anything when you’ve got the thirst, won’t you? Horribly fluffy pregnancy fic. Song fic. Fic written by youths who don’t understand how sex works.

Being a perfectionist sucks because it can make you: 

  1. Procrastinate more on work
  2. Susceptible to depression and anxiety

Your humanness implies that you are unfinished and imperfect. But that doesn’t make you want to stop working on yourself, does it? Writing works the same way.

Try and give yourself permission to finish something horrible. The best way to flex your finishing muscle is to just sit down and write the worst, draft-iest fic you’ve ever written. Don’t stop to worry about quality. Don’t worry about the holes in your headcanon. Just type anything. Post it under a pseudonym if you’re worried about bad reviews. Or don’t even post it at all. Just finish it.

The more you can allow your writing to be flawed, the easier you’ll be on yourself. Think about the characters you root for in fiction. They’re not perfect, and they’re not finished. Neither are you.

So be good enough today. Be unfinished but pressing forward.

And if you’re looking for a great example of an imperfect work, might I suggest my little book? Now available for pre-order!



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