NaNoWriMo was an incredibly freeing experience for me. I'd been in editing mode for a long time, and NaNoWriMo provided me with the space to take risks and play around freely, because all I had to do was finish a story. But once the end of the month came, and the story was finished, I wasn't sure how to apply this to my other works.
Then, a few years later, I wrote "The Wishing Star" on a whim. I saw a contest for short, Christmas related stories, and I decided to write one. "The Wishing Star" turned out to be waaaaay too long to enter in that particular contest, but I'm glad I wrote it anyway. It gave me a great space to take risks. Now I'm writing a "spooky" story, "Josephina's Guide to Magic for Kids," which is giving me the same kind of freedom.
So, what I've found to help me with perfectionism, and that sense of blank-page paralysis:
- Try NaNoWriMo or similar group endeavors.
- Look at writing contests. Even if you don't have something complete in time to enter, you might be inspired by their prompts.
- Write short stories
- Keep an experimental version of your book, where anything goes.
When you find an outlet for experimentation, be patient with yourself, and don't expect immediate results. This is for fun first. The space to take risks will create a lot of useless material. But in that pile of trash, you'll also discover real gold, beautiful work you wouldn't have come up with otherwise.