Sometimes I Hate Being This Way

by Zeus66
30 replies
"This way" being too much of a perfectionist for my own good. See, I write info products and I'm too dang slow!

The one I'm currently writing is now in its third incarnation. And you know what? The 1st and 2nd ones were FINE! ARGH! I just can't seem to make myself move on. I keep tweaking and monkeying and 'fine-tuning.'

And it's making me crazy. Seriously. I'm about to go all Tyler Durden on myself. (He's the insane main character in the movie Fight Club for those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing this great movie).

Anyone else fight this battle when you write or make videos or whatever it is you do?

If so, you got any tips to keep me from punching myself in the ear?

Thanks,
John
#ebooks #perfectionist #writing
  • Profile picture of the author sandangel
    I am like that in every aspect of my life and being too much of a perfectionist DOES have its disadvantages. I wished I could offer some advice to help but I honestly do not even know how to help myself in regards of this.

    Sand
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    Same way here.

    This is why I asked for a critique of my landing page AFTER I launched my site...if I'd have asked first, the launch would've never happened. I knew it was more important to get the product OUT THERE than get it perfect.

    But it drove. me. crazy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

    Anyone else fight this battle when you write or make videos or whatever it is you do?
    Yes. I "finished" my forthcoming product in about two months and sent it out for review to a few people. While waiting to hear back from them, I realized I wasn't satisfied with it, as I didn't feel it was worth it yet. So, I spent another four months on it.

    Even now, I keep finding things I want to add or change, but I'm filing those notes away for the 2010 edition. At some point, you just have to stop and get it out there. Plus, I'm sure once I start getting feedback from actual buyers (and I think you get perhaps a more valuable type of feedback when you hear from people who have plunked down money for your product rather than received a free copy for review), that'll help me make the 2010 edition even better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    My advice: Just put it out there, whatever "it" is. Tweak it later.
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  • Profile picture of the author danagirl
    I'm that way all the time. I know things are "good enough," but I just can't live with that. If it's not perfect, I'm just not satisfied, and I can't move on. I am learning to give in a little in some parts of my work, but it hasn't been easy, and I still have a LONG way to go!
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    I just trashed about half of a sales letter, because after getting THAT far into it I realized that the entire angle wasn't going to work...

    And I'm pretty much scrapping 10 pages of a report to be included in the same project.

    So no, you're not the only one.

    -Scott
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Brite
    I use to find myself doing the same so instead think of my changes as versions.... if the first one is good and will provide good value for its price then i release it!

    Then i get feedback and make changes based on that feedback.

    Plus i normally release the very first version to my list and ask for reviews and comments then edit and release properly!

    Now my perfectionist side comes out and i work on a version 2 and then sometimes even consider a version 3 or expand it into a bigger product which is preferable.

    Might help you to think of them as versions and actually release each one and give the update free to old purchasers... plus it extends the life of the product alot more.

    Tom Brite
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  • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
    Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

    "This way" being too much of a perfectionist for my own good. See, I write info products and I'm too dang slow!

    The one I'm currently writing is now in its third incarnation. And you know what? The 1st and 2nd ones were FINE! ARGH! I just can't seem to make myself move on. I keep tweaking and monkeying and 'fine-tuning.'

    And it's making me crazy. Seriously. I'm about to go all Tyler Durden on myself. (He's the insane main character in the movie Fight Club for those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing this great movie).

    Anyone else fight this battle when you write or make videos or whatever it is you do?

    If so, you got any tips to keep me from punching myself in the ear?

    Thanks,
    John

    I'm a perfectionist myself & needless to say I KNOW what you're
    talking about...

    As a perfectionist I usually experience a lot of these
    points mentioned down below (It's very likely that
    you feel the same)

    >>> Endless headaches
    >>> Not a whole lot of sleep (... lol yeah I'm a bit like tyler durden)
    >>> Frustration

    etc, etc...


    How do I deal with it?

    I try to forget... Drink a beer & smoke a cigarette, take a shower,
    anything that will make me feel less tense.

    It's weird but if I spend a lot of time creating an e-book & trying
    to make it perfect, I lose focus & I get more & more obsessed with
    making it more perfect.

    Nowadays I take a lot of breaks & I work on it little by little. In
    the end I've found this system to be much more productive than
    the old one (Which consists of working all day long).

    Anyway, I'm still a perfectionist nonetheless but I believe that
    I was much more extreme in the past (& it really was destroying me)

    So my advice to you is...

    Try to relax, chill out & take your mind off it for some time...

    Or you can just forget about everything, move to an abandoned
    house a mile away from people, make soap & sell it & keep working
    on that napalm!
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  • Profile picture of the author ItsDubC
    I haven't even released my first infoproduct because of this very reason. I finished it last month and every time I read it, I feel like the writing style is bad or that I should divide it into multiple infoproducts to be sold as a package. Sucks
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    Yes.

    With my current project I tell myself, "OK. Done. It's worth AT LEAST $xx." Then I second guess myself and add another module to "make sure" it's worth "at least $xx."

    Now that I've done all of this I'm considering breaking it up into pieces. All before making a sale.

    {to self} PULL THE TRIGGER!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Palo Coyote
    Hi, this is for all of you "perfectionists" and especially you Zeus (who is a friend of mine).
    Your primary challenge that you are all doing this "by your self."

    Traditional (main stream print) Authors ALL have an.......wait for it....."Editor." This is someone who "nags when they need it, encourages when they need it, is supportive always and PULLS THE PLUG when it's done." You're all "going it alone," and that allows you to "put off, wait, perfect, re-do," and all manner of procrastination.

    IF you had an "Editor" even if it's not someone who may not always know the perfect punctuation, spelling and grammar BUT "encourages, supports and finally says, ENOUGH, we go to print (PDF) on Tuesday" then the "tweaking" ends.

    This person CAN NOT be your spouse, relative, best friend or extended family or friend member.......it's got to be someone who can tell you, "It's going to bring in REVENUE...right now....we're going public with it RIGHT NOW.....you can fix it after we get it out into the public....RIGHT NOW."

    Call me...we'll talk.

    You guys are the Best!

    Palo
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Yes, Yes, Yes.

    I finished my eBook. Sent it to a Warrior for a review. He gave it a thumbs up with one minor suggestion.

    I made the change and then just froze. I've been trying to "finish it again" for a couple of weeks now.

    George Wright
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  • Profile picture of the author ContentIn48Hours
    I have the same problem when I write ebooks. I just keep making small changes instead releasing the thing to the public when I finish it and its high quality.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Palo,

    Awesome advice, my friend! I never even thought of that, but it's what I need to do (eventually). Man, that's so dead on!

    This is why I love this forum. A few thousand heads are always better than one.

    Thanks again, Palo!

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author emjei
    Just relax, fresh-new ideas will come out to your mind..don't be so perfectionist..don't be afraid to be criticize..others comment will help you make good things
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  • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
    You're definitely not alone!

    I just put out a couple of videos within the past few days promoting a site I run. I can pick out about a dozen things on each of them that I wish I had done over.

    But ... and this is the ONLY thing that matters ...

    I'm getting a great response from them.

    I used to ask for "reviews" ... "feedback" ... "opinions" from peers, etc...

    Most of the feedback was like I'd get from my mom: "It's wonderful, Sweetie!" and none of it really meant anything.

    Put it out there.

    Let the market response be the feedback. If your prospects buy it, it's good. If they recommend it, it's golden!

    Some of the "best" products and services out there never get sold because they're always being "tweaked".

    Get it ready ...
    Get it out there ...
    Adjust as needed based on actual CUSTOMER feedback.
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    Email Marketing Blog

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  • Profile picture of the author Amenda Jessera
    Yups guys, Me too have got crazy sometimes on this way. Sometimes, It is very hard to write about one thing in different angles. However, I should inorder to get more visitors and get money :p, So, writing writing.... Sometimes, just re-writing articles(just take my previous articles and reword them) - That is really headache rather than writing new one. However, to make sure that I am delivering UNIQUE content, I hve to do so, Even If I get tired and hard with these, I cannot forget the awesome profit from it.
    "Hard work for success"
    - Always recall that QUOTE....
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Some random things that help me...

      (Hi, I'm John and I'm a perfectionist.)

      Even if you put in the time to make a project perfect, you've lost whatever opportunity was available while you perfected your project, making it flawed. There is no perfection.

      Even the best web hosts don't promise 100% up time. If they can be up 99.9% of the time, they consider it perfect. So maybe you just need to redefine perfect.

      Finally, similar to what Tom Brite wrote, I try to view projects as an ongoing process with a feedback loop. Creating the ebook or video or whatever is only one step in the process.

      So instead of a project called 'ebook', I have a project called 'create an income stream' where the ebook is just one step in the process. The process itself never ends, so it can never be perfect. By following Tom's idea, the process becomes:

      1. Create project 'income stream from selling info about underwater widget weaving.

      2. Research market.

      3. Create prototype product based on research.

      4. Collect feedback from actual paying customers.

      5. Use legitimate feedback to tweak product.

      6. Release new version.

      7. Return to step 4.

      Part of the market research is determining, for purposes of the project, what "perfect" looks like. Once you reach that, the project goes into maintenance mode, where you monitor feedback and only make changes when they will bring you closer to the specific, objective description of perfection.

      I find that using a process like this allows me to deal with perfectionism without being frozen by it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom Brite
        Originally Posted by TMG Enterprises View Post

        I really like what Tom said up above. You can always update it and release it as a new version each time and I hadn't thought about it as being able to extend the life of the product.

        Of course, that won't work with articles so it's a good thing I finally fought through this tendency, at least in that area...lol.

        Tina
        Yeah Tina now if you could go and re-edit articles over and over again i think you would be one of those people who only had one article out there lol.. not good!

        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Some random things that help me...

        (Hi, I'm John and I'm a perfectionist.)

        Even if you put in the time to make a project perfect, you've lost whatever opportunity was available while you perfected your project, making it flawed. There is no perfection.

        Even the best web hosts don't promise 100% up time. If they can be up 99.9% of the time, they consider it perfect. So maybe you just need to redefine perfect.

        Finally, similar to what Tom Brite wrote, I try to view projects as an ongoing process with a feedback loop. Creating the ebook or video or whatever is only one step in the process.

        So instead of a project called 'ebook', I have a project called 'create an income stream' where the ebook is just one step in the process. The process itself never ends, so it can never be perfect. By following Tom's idea, the process becomes:

        1. Create project 'income stream from selling info about underwater widget weaving.

        2. Research market.

        3. Create prototype product based on research.

        4. Collect feedback from actual paying customers.

        5. Use legitimate feedback to tweak product.

        6. Release new version.

        7. Return to step 4.

        Part of the market research is determining, for purposes of the project, what "perfect" looks like. Once you reach that, the project goes into maintenance mode, where you monitor feedback and only make changes when they will bring you closer to the specific, objective description of perfection.

        I find that using a process like this allows me to deal with perfectionism without being frozen by it.
        That's a fantastic way to look at them!

        In actual fact its almost perfect

        Tom Brite
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  • Profile picture of the author peetred
    "People do it everyday, they talk to themselves... they see themselves as they'd like to be, they don't have the courage you have, to just run with it." Tyler Durden

    I couldn't resist.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      I stopped having that problem after my first product.

      I've reached a point where I have enough confidence in what I do to not
      have to agonize over every little dotted I and crossed T. I sit down, create
      my product, have confidence that it's of quality, and get it out the door.

      To a degree, I have become detached from the product creation process. I
      have my writing style down to a science so I don't have to think about that
      anymore so all that's left is to fill in the "facts" of the product.

      If it doesn't sound very glamorous, it's not.

      But you don't need glamor and blood, sweat and tears to put out a quality
      product.

      You just need belief in what you do.
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      • Profile picture of the author JustaWizard
        If you're NOT an "obsessive" kind of person in other areas of your life (for example, if you need to pat your keys in your pocket several times before you close a locked door, when one pat would have been enough to verify you have your keys...) then your perfectionist tendencies may just be what I call "high achiever syndrome".

        My wife and I work our asses off to over-deliver. It's very, very difficult for me to make a product that's "good enough".

        The upside is you create a superior product, your drive to make it better and better means you deliver a truly great product.

        The downside is the second-guessing and reworking.

        My suggestion is, based on my experience, if the rewrites and re-dos and additions are really not contributing huge, meaty value, then it's useful to stop and realize that you may be focusing on small-potato stuff that's not worth the extra time spent.

        Hope that helps!
        Best,
        David
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Typical first born behavior. I wouldn't beat up myself for it.
    We need people like this in the world. They make good
    pilots, accountants, editors, surgeons, cops, architects,
    ... you get the pattern.

    Get an accountability partner to tear the ebook from you
    after the first draft.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    If it doesn't sound very glamorous, it's not.

    But you don't need glamor and blood, sweat and tears to put out a quality
    product.

    You just need belief in what you do.
    Yup yup yup! Confidence is right up there with focus in this business!
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Hey, thanks for the good suggestions everybody! I really just wanted to vent about myself a bit. It was either that or take myself out behind the 'ol woodshed and put some fear of God into "that boy." But I'll take the great advice, too! No bruises.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    Improvement is a never ending process. Years ago I worked for Hewlett Packard, and I learned some very good lessons from that experience. Our processes were always under review for improvement. We didn't stop building product as it was an excellent product and we sold them by the truck loads. Yet we never stopped trying to find ways to improve them.

    You have to decide that the product is good and release it. But that doesn't stop you from going back and improving it. I don't think any of your customers will complain about receiving an updated new and improved version. And unless you release it and continue to generate income, you will eventually not be able to keep improving your products.
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    Tim Pears

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  • Profile picture of the author Darth Executor
    Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

    "This way" being too much of a perfectionist for my own good. See, I write info products and I'm too dang slow!

    The one I'm currently writing is now in its third incarnation. And you know what? The 1st and 2nd ones were FINE! ARGH! I just can't seem to make myself move on. I keep tweaking and monkeying and 'fine-tuning.'

    And it's making me crazy. Seriously. I'm about to go all Tyler Durden on myself. (He's the insane main character in the movie Fight Club for those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing this great movie).

    Anyone else fight this battle when you write or make videos or whatever it is you do?

    If so, you got any tips to keep me from punching myself in the ear?

    Thanks,
    John
    I''m in a similar situation. I'm working on a web site and this is the 4th or 5th incarnation. No idea how to break out of it though. I guess I should just come to terms with the fact that I've, ahem, "practiced" web design enough times and I should just move on to the next step.

    All I can say is just "move on to the next step". That's what I'm trying to do.
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