3 Myths About Writing the “Perfect” Article

Let’s put a stop to the self-sabotage, shall we?a


Brooke Harrison

a year ago | 3 min read

You’ve got high expectations for yourself as a writer. I get it.

When I sit down to confront the blank page, I’ve got this set of criteria in my head — and if I can’t meet it, my writing is not “worthy” of being shared.

The worst part is, we know — intellectually — that these unrealistic expectations kill our confidence.

In facing my own writer’s block recently, I wanted to take a closer look at a few of the lies I mistakenly believe about writing the “perfect” article.

If the little voice in your head has convinced you of the following, let me set you straight:

1. I have to say something profound.

Sometimes I reread what I’ve written and thought, “This is so obvious.” I second-guess myself, wondering why I’ve wasted my time writing something that will make readers say, “Duh.”

We tell ourselves that every piece we write must be “profound” or incredibly thought-provoking, or original. We discount perfectly sound ideas because they’re too simple or obvious.

But “simple” ideas are more powerful than we give them credit for. Sometimes we need reminders of the everyday truths we take for granted.

Simple concepts are easier to wrap our heads around. “Simple” is powerful because it’s clear, concise, and memorable.

After all, “it’s not what you say, but how you say it.” When we write, it isn’t that our idea or topic must be profound — it’s all in the way you present your thoughts. The delivery.

Honestly, that’s the fun of being a writer. We string sentences together to paint pictures with words, to communicate a message.

There’s no such thing as an “original” idea. You bring originality to your writing with your perspective and unique story. If you’re able to share a unique perspective, it doesn’t matter that you’ve written about making sandwiches or taking a nap. Tom Keugler wrote a story about buttering his bagel at Starbucks and how it reminded him to have patience.

Who are we to assume what will or won’t resonate with readers? An idea or topic that you’ve discounted may be profound or thought-provoking for someone else if it’s what they need to hear at that moment.

2. I have to say everything there is to say about my topic.

We mistakenly think this is how to provide value to our readers — by attacking an idea from every angle, leaving no stone unturned.

But this is counterintuitive. You’ll feel overwhelmed if you bite off more than you can chew. In my case, that’s when my articles are unfocused and rambling. In attempting to say it all, I’ve said next to nothing.

Remember, the goal of any piece of content is to communicate just one thing.

What is it that you want to say? What’s your argument? The takeaway of your piece? When I wrote for my high school newspaper, we called this an “angle.” Find your “angle” and take a deep dive.

Get up close and personal. Be specific. Use examples and outside resources to support your argument.

3. I have to say it better than everyone else.

This misconception may derail more promising writers than anything else.

If we can’t say it “better,” then why try? We psych ourselves out before we even start. As a perfectionist, I often convince myself it would be a waste of time to say something that’s already been said. Why would I, when there are so many other writers who could communicate the idea more eloquently? Writers with more experience, more credibility, more talent…

Here’s the thing… we don’t have to say it “better.” We just have to say it differently. And that’s almost a given because we’re all different people. We come from different backgrounds, and our diversity lends itself to unique perspectives.

There are many, many articles about developing a morning routine. And you know what? I continue to read them. Even after I’ve read a hundred, I’ll read another — on the off chance that this writer has something new to say about their morning routine that could work for me, too.

What’s your spin on the topic? What’s your angle?

“Better” is subjective. You may read something that resonates with you, but another person may read the same thing and just not get it. It happens all the time.

So don’t deprive your future readers of your voice and your insight, simply because you think you can’t do “better” than what’s already out there.


The “perfect” article doesn’t exist. We put undue pressure on ourselves when we believe our work must be profound, comprehensive, or the “best.”

These are the myths surrounding the idea of the “perfect” piece. The next time you sit down to write, acknowledge each of these lies and give yourself some real talk.

You’re simply contributing to an ongoing conversation. If you have something to say, say it! We want to hear from you.


Created by

Brooke Harrison







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