I’ve been reading a little bit of Seth Godin’s blog lately and admiring both his thoughts and the brevity in which he expresses them. Often his posts are just two or three paragraphs long, yet they still pack a thoughtful punch. These posts, along with my recent efforts to start video blogging, have me thinking more about the blogging craft and how I need to kick my own butt from time to time to not try to be so “perfect” at it. To try not to write every post as I would write an article for a magazine or journal. This quest for perfect is probably holding me back from blogging as much as I could. (Heck, it’s holding me back from even publishing this post before having read and reread it 20 times!)
Godin talks about striving for “good enough” and not perfect. He says that if we expect perfect from ourselves we’ll never “ship” anything. In other words, we’ll never let anything that we’re working on leave our hands or our mouths or our offices in less than perfect condition, and so consequently the world won’t benefit from seeing our work at all. Intellectually that advice to me makes sense. Doing it is another story!
I mentioned my attempt at video blogging. I have wanted to do a video blog post about “thought volunteering” for the last couple of weeks, but I haven’t been able to post it. What happened was that I became too self-critical in the taping of it: every little pause and word flub became a reason to stop, roll my eyes, and start over again. So many takes were not only taking a huge amount of time, they were going to result in having to do a massive edit job on the whole thing at the end. So I just ended up doing … nothing. It’s why you haven’t seen it yet! I’ve failed to ship because I made the mistake of thinking that my video had to be perfect to do so. To be honest, I’ve cared too much about what you might think if you saw me in a less than perfect state. (I’m not sure why, many of you see me in person in a less-than-perfect state all the time!)
Yet I find it so interesting that the universe often brings us a lesson just when we need to hear it most. I’ve also just finished reading Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly and her research and words on vulnerability have reminded me (again) that there’s something extremely engaging in the less-than-perfect product. In the less-than-perfect person. They are real. When we talk in real life we don’t sound like (or look like) a scripted PR video! Brown says that what we want most is to see the vulnerability in others, but that being vulnerable ourselves is often what we fear the most. So true.
So I’m going to keep reminding myself real is what I need to do. And I’m going to ship. I mean you want to know about thought volunteering right? And maybe about my other not-so-perfect ideas too?