on Jane Friedman site:
I’d always dreamed of writing a novel, and yet, I could never finish any of my projects. I was frustrated and worried that maybe I just wasn’t cut out to write, that I wasn’t smart, creative, or disciplined enough. However, I wasn’t making progress because I was struggling with perfectionism.
Perfectionism isn’t about being perfect; it’s about the fear of appearing imperfect. This trips up so many writers because we think, “I’m not perfect enough to be a perfectionist,” while at the same time we feel paralyzed by procrastination, self-doubt, and overwhelm.
Those are the real ways perfectionism shows up. As Dr. Brené Brown explains in The Gifts of Imperfection, “Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame.”
To protect ourselves, we shy away from projects that don’t have a guaranteed outcome, and we create habits that keep us from taking risks or allow us to protect our potential if we do make mistakes.