I’m a perfectionist. It’s an annoying trait to have, especially now that I have a blog.
I worked as a graphic designer in publishing and print advertising for over a decade. Because of that, I have come to expect drafts and corrections on a regular basis. I have always enjoyed writing but blogging does not come easy for me. I struggle to keep my blog current. I over-analyze topics and wonder if my readers will find them interesting. I am wordy. I spend countless hours editing. I nitpick every aspect until I feel like it is near perfection. Most posts take me several days to produce. You would think I was a copywriter for the World Book Encyclopedia.
Because of this desire to create perfect blogs, I find myself sitting in front of my computer contemplating the effort to write. Is it even worth the time to maintain a blog when I only publish a couple of posts a month? I am blown away by my blogger friends who can crank out multiple scheduled posts weekly. How can they have time to decide on topics, write them, and edit them all a few times before posting them? The more I think about it, the more frustrated I become. Maybe blogging isn’t for me.
I considered making this post my last attempt at blogging, but thought I should research perfectionist blogs just to see if I could find a helpful tip or two. What I found surprised me. There are a lot of folks who struggle with this very problem. It seems those of us in search of the perfect blog are the ones who are least successful in the blogging world. If you happen to be one of those struggling writers, let me share with you some great words of wisdom from folks who have overcome the desire to be perfect.*
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger encourages us to:
Realize that the web is flexible.
Understand that our readers know we’re human.
Recognize the value we can get from using reader feedback to improve our posts.
Respect the importance of our publishing schedule.
Darren states, “Of course, we all want our posts to be factually accurate and typo-free—that’s a given. But there are also considerable advantages to letting go and seeing where a less polished post might lead.” Great advice!
Jennifer Blanchard of Procrastinating Writers believes, “Other than fear, [perfectionism] is the main reason people procrastinate. They get so worried that the blog they create won’t be perfect from the get-go that they don’t even bother starting it. Perfectionism causes serious stress, which is always a recipe for disaster.”
She also reminds us that perfection is an idea, not a reality. No one is or can be perfect. “So rather than berate yourself for not being perfect, remember that life – and blogging – is a journey. And the only way to reach the end goal of that journey is to take the first step: Start your blog!”
Dr. Bob Clarke of Simple Solutions for Part Time Entrepreneurs actually used a 20-minute exercise to break his perfectionist ways. He set a timer, started writing, and when the timer sounded… it was done. He posted the blog as-is, with no capitalization, no spell check, and no formatting. Who is up for this challenge?
And finally, Tristan at The Backlight writes, “Being perfect is overrated and unnecessary. Apart from the fact that perfection is impossible, your blog doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be better than the other blogs in your niche. No one cares if you’re perfect. Your readers care about your content.” I love this graphic included in his post:
Thanks to these bloggers, who imperfectly shared their advice, I do feel more comfortable. Although changing my habits won’t happen over night, I have decided to give blogging another shot.
If you’re a perfectionist blogger, do you think these suggestions will help you?
How critical are you, as a reader, of finding mistakes in other blogs?
If you’re a successful blogger, are there any additional tips that you’d like to share?