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Screw perfection – write that post

I have a problem when it comes to blogging: I want every post to matter. In that respect, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I don’t want to write something that’s not worthy of having being written. And that’s a little ridiculous.

I can identify three reasons this is problematic:

  1. I don’t know what is meaningful to other people

Something that seems obvious to me might be illuminating to someone else. In the same way, an idea that I consider my greatest thought of all time could be quite mundane to everyone who reads it. I simply don’t know. The universe of possible thoughts is so vast that it seems probable that for every idea I have there is someone who will find merit in it.

If that is so (and I currently have no reason to think it is not) then it’s better for me to express my ideas than to filter them and only expound on those I think will be most useful.

2. I don’t really know what I think until I’ve explored the thought

Since I started blogging (it seems amazing to me that it was almost 5 years ago), I’ve realised that the expression of an idea is crucial to the development of that idea.

I might think up a topic for a blog post and be convinced that I could and should write a riveting post about it, and yet when I actually sit down and attempt to write the idea falls apart because it’s blatantly incorrect or just not particularly interesting to me or for some other reason.

Similarly, a few of my favourite blog posts have started as tentative ideas that seemed to lack merit at the outset. Looking beneath the surface of these ideas has revealed insights that were not immediately obvious when I first thought of them.

3. I don’t have to publish every post

One of the best parts of writing (as opposed to speaking) is that I have the opportunity to write, review, and choose not to publish. Once words are spoken, it’s impossible to take them back, but writing is not quite so immediate.

As I write this, I can see that I have more draft posts (51) than published (37 excluding this one. 38 if it makes the cut). So this particular point is already in action in my life. And yet, I find I often don’t start writing because I’ve already made the assumption that the potential post will not be worth publishing. Points 1 and 2 refute that.

So I resolve to write more; to explore my ideas; to risk writing badly about irrelevant topics; to express myself.