I came across this phrase about perfection the other day and it changed everything for me. I’d already heard “perfection is the enemy of good” and in my work, had moved way beyond that one. But the kill-your-dreams concept resonated deeply with me, because here I was, pursuing a dream to form my own content strategy company, already working with numerous clients before doing one ounce of promotion. Already “successful,” at least by that measure, and yet I hadn’t yet created content for my company web site.
In my profession, I told myself, every piece of content needs to be perfect before I put it out into the world. Yes, even published and award-winning authors feel this way. In fact, I feel this way, the need to write perfectly, almost every time I sit down to create something new. It doesn’t matter how much success I’ve had before with my writing. I am humbled and back to square one, wondering each time, “Will I be able to create good writing again?”
So here I’ve been, knowing exactly what I want—to get this web site up—yet instead of doing it, or instead of at least getting up the first version of doing it, I’ve been hanging back, finding excuses. (Queue the soulful string quartet: After all, I am a single mom, supporting myself, maintaining a home, etc. How are these excuses sounding to you? Pretty solid, right?) I see it like this: I’ve been putting in a lot of effort to keep myself in the eddy of life, rather than positioning myself to pop out into the main current of a fast-moving river that will sweep me toward my dream.
One of the things that has held me back is not having my first blog written. Now, for someone like me who can make reasonable amounts of money selling my thought leadership and writing to online and print publications, I admit it is still a tad hard to wrap my brain around the concept that with blogging, I offer these exact same things for free. I have lists of story themes I will be sharing through this blog. And yet … really? I will be offering them for free? And even as I’m offering them for free, in my mind, they have to be perfect.
So many barriers, so little time to share with you the blocks that hold me back. Because I’m a content expert, even my content that I give away for free has to be perfect. And then comes the insight. Perfection is not, in the digital age, what content is about anymore, and it’s certainly not the way to chase and capture a dream.
Instead, perfection will kill my dreams. I need to get ideas up, get them out, examine the impact and response, then make adjustments as needed.
So here is my first, imperfect, blog, and now I’m one step closer. I admit. This feels good.