Saturday, 19 February 2011

Stop worrying about perfection and just get on with it......

I went to a talk on Friday at the School of Life about being creative in the digital age. The talk was given by a guy called David Shields, an American author, who was discussing his most recent book Reality Hunger. 

It was my first time to the School of Life and I enjoyed the evening. There was a small group of people, maybe 15 and there was a good discussion with David after his talk.

There was a woman was sitting next to me who had mentioned that she had a blog where she was experimenting with different styles of writing. I can't remember the exact name she gave to it, but it sounded interesting.

The event ended and I went up to her to ask her for the name of the blog. I wanted to read it and have a look at it. She became deeply embarrassed and at first told me that she had a hard time remembering the exact name of the blog or the URL. 

I thought this was really strange, of course she knows what the name of her blog is and she just doesn't want to tell me. Did she really expect me to believe that didn't know the name of the blog she's been writing for the past two years? Fair enough if it wasn't a public blog, it was just an outlet for her creative writing, but why didn't she say that? 

She finally told me a name, although she wasn't completely sure and then apologized for the name not being very good. I thanked her and headed home.

It just really struck me as weird and sad that this person who in front of a group of 15 people tells everyone that she's been writing a blog and then doesn't want anyone to read it or isn't willing to tell people that it's not a public thing.

All it made me think was that she was embarrassed and not very confident. Which made me feel bad for her. 

I walked to the tube thinking was she worried about what I would think of her writing? I mean, who cares what I think of her writing?

Which leads me to think about why people let perfection or worrying about what other people will think stand in the way of actually doing or sharing what they do with the world.

The worst that could have happened is that I went home looked up the blog, read a few posts and thought to myself this really stinks. It's not like I would go out of my way to contact her to tell her that.

But, what would have happened if I read it, thought it was amazing and I was a literary agent or something like that? It could have been her big break.

I think we need to quit worrying about what other people will think of us or our work. You can't let that fear or embarrassment stop you from creating whatever it is that you're meant to create. My philosophy is to make something and put it out there. 

I just wish that she would have been proud of what she was writing.....and if she didn't want to share it with me than to tell me that. 

Anyway....I am a big fan of the quote perfection is the enemy of good. Don't avoid doing things, creating things, trying things because you think they have to be perfect. 

That's my two cents for now, this topic is something that I've been thinking about for a while and I think there's a few more posts coming :)


  1. Perfectionism is our enemy. Like 'body image' 'self esteem', and other things, being perfect is defeating. Taking one step, then another, is how we learn to walk. Writing one word, then another...That's all we can do. Liked your insight. Susan (raised in Illinois, near Hannibal, MO, area)

  2. Weird how she didn't know the name. I just started a blog 2 weeks and I want to tell the world.


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