Perfectionism by A.M. Jenkins

Apropos of nothing, I would like to share this quote I loved (and saved) after reading an article Linda Washington directed me to.

“Depending on the form it takes, perfectionism is not necessarily a block to creativity. A growing body of research in psychology has revealed that there are two forms of perfectionism: healthy or unhealthy. Characteristics of what psychologists view as healthy perfectionism include striving for excellence and holding others to similar standards, planning ahead, and strong organizational skills. Healthy perfectionism is internally driven in the sense that it’s motivated by strong personal values. Conversely, unhealthy perfectionism is externally driven. External concerns show up over perceived parental pressures, needing approval, a tendency to ruminate over past performances, or an intense worry about making mistakes. Healthy perfectionists exhibit a low concern for these outside factors.”
—Peter Sims

You can read the full article at:


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2 responses to “Perfectionism by A.M. Jenkins

  1. I needed this post. Lately, I’ve read a number of blog posts about the issue of perfectionism and the need to conquer this tendency. Many writers are perfectionists. We want to put our best foot forward. And yes, some perfectionism can be crippling, especially if we’re prevented from writing anything unless we can turn out the “perfect” manuscript. But striving for excellence—that’s something we can all do.

  2. Kathy Quimby

    I take away something from writers for this, all the things Linda mentioned above.

    I’m also struck by how many of those external factors are built into kids’ lives: particularly parental pressure (even when it’s not excessive), dwelling on past mistakes, and fearing the consequences of making a mistake. All the more to challenge/torture our characters with.

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