Writing Words: The Paralyzing Curse of Creative Perfectionism

I’m horrible at maintaining any sort of blog. But if I can get the hang of it, it will be a good thing, because it’s a format in which my writing style tends to thrive.

I’ve actually been in a weird sort of rut in this area over the past several months, which has caused me to stop writing for the most part. I start articles for the women’s ministry I write for, Whole Magazine, and then I don’t finish them. I write careful paragraphs on Facebook that I quickly delete. I hardly even let people see my class notes for school. I’m easily ashamed of the things I produce in the creative world. And I can tell you just as easily that it’s all because I’m a (recovering) perfectionist.

We tend to glorify perfectionism in our culture because it’s obsessed with the idea of it on both sides of the spectrum. The people who are most vocal on the issue seem to be either in love with themselves or in loathe with themselves. The focus is still on themselves, regardless of which camp they fall into. I’m probably guilty of both. I don’t quite know, most of the time. I just know that whatever my problem is, it manifests in a paralyzing suspicion that the things I produce are not of any value unless they are perfect — which is something they never will be — and because of this subconscious suspicion, I have neglected to write very much at all.

And that is selfish.

My words will only be worth writing when I am freed by the knowledge that these words are a means and not an end. They are a means and talent that are granted, developed, and used by God in His faithfulness to bring His ultimate plan to fruition in my life and the lives of others. The best part of that is this: His faithfulness isn’t dependent on my faithfulness. I don’t have to be a perfect writer because my writing isn’t the point. It isn’t the end. Only the means.

Even more than that, a very common and glorious way that God expresses His faithfulness through imperfect human endeavors is by using some of the most imperfect and insignificant ones to accomplish things of a magnitude that only He can perfectly bring about. In this very way, I find His words in 2 Corinthians 12:9 to ring true in even the most mundane areas of life: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness” (ESV).

So whether my words are practical or impractical, eloquent or incoherent, well-developed or sorely lacking — I can write them with confidence because that confidence lies in the power and purpose of Someone much more capable of bringing about good things out of nothing than I ever could be.

I hope you will continue to read my words and be blessed, all the same. Soli deo Gloria.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sylvia M says:

    Oh I’m so excited about this blog! Thank you for your willingness to share it. I write occasionally, and I’ve read many “time to start writing again” posts, and I appreciate your perspective. Instead of the standard “my writing is valuable” spiel, you explain “my writing is an opportunity to glorify God.” My heart is full. Keep writing. God-centered perspectives are invaluable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just realized I never replied to this! Thank you, Sylvia! That is very encouraging.


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