When is something truly finished?
You’ve written a blog post, or an article. How good does it have to be before you hit the publish or send button?
Do you get stuck in revision, polishing the words or rethinking your approach? Doubting yourself?
Putting your words out into the world can be frightening. Perfectionism makes a handy shield.
The trick for writers is finding that sweet spot between perfectionism and impatience – finding your personal “good enough.”
Good enough is a moving target.
I want to keep working on my craft, becoming better as a writer.
Whenever I open up something I wrote a while ago (or even last week), I can spot several possibilities for improving it:
- A simpler sentence structure
- A stronger verb
- A better analogy
So really, I’ve published things that I would now improve. I’m never really done, because my good enough is a sliding scale.
Revision is your friend, until it simply becomes a delaying tactic.
Your writing is never perfect.
At some point, you want people to read and benefit from your words. You have to let them go, imperfect as they are.
Perfection is overrated. Even committing to doing your “best” may be seen as a way to avoid doing anything at all. Here’s a more achievable, yet still worthy, goal:
Do something better than your last one
Better doesn’t have to be perfect – but strive for improvement in those areas that you can control.
- Write a better title for this blog post than the last post.
- Search out a boring adjective (like big or new) and pick a stronger one.
- Experiment with telling a quick story, or using an analogy to explain something.
Do something to work on your craft, to elevate your output. Then let it go and see what happens.
Give yourself permission to be just a bit better today than you were yesterday.
Over time, your writing will improve. Along the way, you’ll be reaching other people with your writing. And that’s what it’s all about.