One Benefit of Blogging Daily: Breaking Perfectionism

970189_rss_icon_1I love blogging, and I love blogging often. One of the biggest advantages and lessons daily blogging has taught me is this: perfectionism is bad, and you have to set it aside if you want a daily post.

If you’re a regular visitor here, you know I blog daily. It’s tough, but I make myself do it. I’m also job-hunting hard and getting numerous interviews, which is great! I’m hoping to have a full-time job soon, at which point I’ll have to cut down on the blogging.

Still, my months of daily blogging have left me with a valuable lesson and some great experience as far as the demon of perfectionism goes.

The simple fact is this: you CANNOT blog daily and be perfectionistic about it. You just can’t. On one level, there are the typos.

I’ve written before about blogging and typos, and whether they are a big deal. It sparked some wonderful and reassuring comments.

But on another level, a deeper level, you can’t be perfectionistic about your content or produce your best content 100% of the time. Consider this:

  • As a daily blogger, you will not feel that every post you write is inspired or great. But you need to write SOMETHING, so you go with an idea every once in a while that you kind of feel is bum.
  • Sometimes time is short, and you’re not able to write as much as you’d like, or really polish and embellish.
  • Sometimes you think you’ve explained your point in a clear way, but questions in the comment section show that you didn’t make your argument clear.
  • There is always a learning curve. Practice makes you better. Ideally, from month to month and week to week your posts should become better arranged and more effective. I look back on some of my early posts and want to cringe.

A blog post can’t and doesn’t have to be perfect, especially when you’re aiming to publish often.

THE BEAUTY OF IMPERFECTION

I don’t have to be a perfect blogger, and that’s awesome. I do the best I can. I try to explain myself clearly and to write thoughtful content and to proofread every post. And that’s enough.

Still, some of the posts I thought were my weakest have gotten lots of hits and sparked a lot of conversation. That’s always a wonderful surprise.

On some occasions when I could have been clearer, the comment section has really exploded with wonderful suggestions and insightful explanations as a result of the minor confusion I provoked.

Not being perfect means my blog is a reflection of me and my humanity, and that’s pretty cool. Who can’t relate to that???

So remember when you’re blogging and agonizing over a post or what to write: it’s okay not to be perfect. You don’t have to write the best blog post ever. You don’t have to hit some arbitrary word-count or change someone’s entire outlook on what you blog about.

Just speak from the heart. Be genuine, respond to those who reach out with you, engage those who think differently with respect in order to open a genuine conversation, and you will end up with a quality blog.

I try not to worry about perfection or about stats. I try to focus on my content and forging relationships with those who drop by. And if 100% of what I can give on a given day is 80% of what I’d like, that’s OKAY.

I hope you enjoyed this post if you struggle with claiming and accepting your blog content, especially if you blog daily or close to daily.

What are your thoughts on this? How do you feel when you’re writing a post and you think, “this isn’t as good as what I normally write”? Do you scrap the post and try to come up with something else, or do you the best you can with what you have?

If you’re interested in blogging and want to learn more, you can check out this category of posts on blogging. I’d also recommend Molly Greene’s blog at www.molly-greene.com and her book “Blog It!”

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45 responses to “One Benefit of Blogging Daily: Breaking Perfectionism

  1. I Don’t think I could post daily… regardless I might be too much of a perfectionist. But if I was going to, you are totally right, I’d have to write, proof and post. I hope you find a job soon, interviews can be stressful eh… what sort of work you looking for?

    • I’ve been really shocked by how different some of the interviews I’ve gone on have been from the others…. For me the stress is always beforehand, before I know what to expect. Once things get going and I settle in I feel a lot more at ease.

      I’m looking for administrative or receptionist work, as I feel that’s what my experience most sets me up for apart from teaching university (which I’d rather avoid).

  2. That’s really great and has made me think about my blog. I only blog twice a week but every post I write is really part experiment to see if it’s read and part to get stuff off my chest. But if I wrote more frequently I think the process and quality of post would increase quicker than my twice weekly approach to get to the blog I really want. I’m a perfectionist to a point. A lot of my posts sit in draft form and are worked on as I get time.

    • Blogging twice a week is a standard set-up and can definitely lead to success. If you have the time to blog three times a week I guess that would get you more practice/experiments in to help you develop.

      Another way to develop though is just to read up on how to blog and what traits successful blogs have in common. http://www.molly-greene.com has some GREAT blogging advice if you would be interested in checking her site out. A lot of what I learned about how to blog, I learned from her site and her book.

  3. I’m currently trying to blog three times a week, and even that sometimes leaves me struggling for something to say. I suspect that having previously worked in a job with an editorial element doesn’t help – I find it hard to let go and put the imperfect out into the world, even though I know I should.

    • Wow, that makes total sense. I can totally see that…. If I had worked as an editor I would probably spend a lot more time glancing over the posts before I schedule them and forget about them. 3 times a week is a great blogging schedule…. That’s what I’m hoping to be doing soon once I’m working again.

  4. alive and kicking every day…beaut! count me in BUT I am not really a blogger. writing every day, spontaneous, insightful and entertaining is the same as a blog page every day. let’s do it and be just as imperfect.

    well said Victoria

  5. I don’t know how you do it, blogging daily! I think you’re right though. As a reader, we aren’t expecting perfection. We like humans, so we don’t agonize over an occasional mistake. Plus, what you think is poorly worded we wouldn’t even notice.

    • thanks, Katie, that’s good to hear! I blog daily right now because being unemployed I have the time, and it’s one thing that’s going really well for me amidst a lot of chaos, so I’m trying to keep it going and continue to build momentum. Soon, hopefully, I’ll be dropping down to 3 or 4 times a week πŸ™‚

  6. I’m with you on the job search! Hoping the best for you!! And thanks for this advice. I enjoy your posts. I post three to four times a week on a good week. I can’t say I always “feel” inspired. But I post anyway.

    • Thanks for the good wishes, and best of luck to you too! It’s so important to stick to your schedule, whatever that is, and post even when you don’t feel inspired. That’s part of the job, and it’s not always fun…. but it builds confidence, routine, and dedication, I think.

  7. great points, like you, I’ve come to accept that all posts may may be perfect but that is simply a reflection of our humanity – beth

  8. I am relatively new to blogging but am already enjoying myself I really enjoyed this post and look forward to so many more by you too.
    If you’d like to stop by I am found on
    http://urwelcome2me.blogspot.co.uk/
    Enjoy your day.
    Eddy.

  9. Well, every post that I’ve read from you have been great. I try not miss any of them. I try to blog at least three times a week. I always feel that my posts are great. I’m not sure if that’s confidence or delusion, but hey, I enjoy it and can’t wait to put out another one.

    • That sounds like a healthy confidence to me πŸ™‚ If I had more time to throw my posts and ideas together I think I’d have fewer posts I’m not that happy with.

      I’m glad you enjoy the blog! I hope it continues to be a resource to you.

  10. I totally suck at blogging! LOL

    It’s hard to keep up with it when I have so many other things to do, and not much of anything to say.

    I do read your blog every day though, even if I don’t reply very often. I get a lot out of it!

    BTW, I just bought your “Writing For You” book! I can’t wait to read it!

    Thanks Victoria!

    • I hope you enjoy it, Dean!!! Thanks for your support…. It means a lot that you stop by regularly and enjoy the blog. The book is along the same lines so hopefully you’ll like it as well.

  11. Pingback: Being inspired by others | Natasha McGregor

  12. This reminds me of a blog, updated every day, by a criminal defense attorney in New York. He has a full time and very stressful job as well as a family, but he gets up every morning (at five, if memory serves), writes, proofreads, and posts. I read an interview of him in another legal blog recently, which is how I know his routine. On some days, by the way, he posts more than one article, his articles are not small, they contain relevant quotes, and his subjects are serious. He also responds in comments (albeit with the self-confidence–to use a kind word for it–of a successful lawyer).

    In any event, if someone as busy as that can show the discipline and not just be rambling like a crazy person in his daily posts…. I know very well, for my own part, that my reason for not posting every day is that I don’t feel like it. I have plenty to keep me busy in life, to be sure, but “too busy” is, as in most affairs, almost never the real excuse.

    • That’s a good point! I have to admit that once I find a job I probably will not blog daily anymore. It’s just too time-consuming and I’ll need time to write my fiction too. Also, getting sufficient sleep is important.

      You’re totally right in that in a lot of cases it comes down to “I don’t feel like it.” And that’s ok for both of us: for all of us. Sometimes we have other priorities than blogging every day.

      I love your example of the lawyer-blogger too. It just goes to show what you CAN do when you make blogging a priority. Wow…. I don’t know that I could get up at 5 daily to blog!

  13. I don’t scrap the post necessarily, I just keep typing on the post and typing until something better comes out of me. IF I write long enough I know something will inspire me and I’ll write a better post in the end so long as I don’t quit in the middle

    • That’s a fabulous point! I think that sometimes I too end up cutting the early parts of a post and focusing on what was originally the middle. The meat, when I actually start saying on point πŸ™‚

  14. Thank you for the info. As I’ve mentioned before on here, I’m not really a writer. I just play one on my blog. I’ve grown so much and learn something from every post I publish, but it does NOT come easy for me. I enjoy it but I have to really work at it. I completely agree about cringing at early posts. Sometimes I consider deleting a few of those.

    Regarding those posts you’re just not feeling as you’re finishing them, sometimes I lose sleep after I publish. I think about if I sounded stupid… if there was anything valuable in it, and sadly, most of the time I have confidence issues and that vampire on my shoulder tells me “Who are you to even be discussing this? You’re just a nobody.” Sometimes I immediately comment on my own post and tell people they had better read it quick because it could be deleted at any moment. Actually, some of those have been my more popular and complimented posts. So somehow 235ish posts have survived without being deleted.

    Am I still talking?

    • I can totally relate! My inner editor is an Eeyore, not a vampire though πŸ™‚ I don’t lose sleep over posts but I do feel all “blah” about it. Try my best to just let it go and not get all crazy when stats are slowing down or even when hits are falling for some reason. There are more important things to throw my attention on. It’s hard though!

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Patrick!

  15. Some of what I considered to be “lame” posts were the most popular. I have dear friends that e-mail me privately to correct typos. They have my back, and I love them for it.

    As a daily poster, sometimes I struggle with what to write. I may begin an article, but it doesn’t “sit right” with me, or Miss Haversham wins the argument ( ;)), so I move it to my drafts files and either begin a new one, or select an old one from my drafts. Eventually, I manage to post something, and all is right with the world!

    I really enjoy your posts and will miss them when you find it necessary to cut back. 😦

    \o/
    Praising Jesus for sweet people like you who come alongside and mentor those of us who have a ways to go yet!

    • Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed this post, and I’m glad you mentioned the draft folder. Those comments really got me thinking about how I adjust my approach to blogging to make it more flexible.

      I don’t keep unfinished posts in a draft folder for longer than a day. My process is to write a post and then schedule it to go live in the next slot, so it’s really cool to see how I could incorporate a different approach and start some posts when I get an idea that’s not fully developed and then let the post gel.

      Thanks!!!

      • In the beginning, I kept a paper with titles and a single “prompt” to remind me what I was going to write about. Sometimes the single sentence wasn’t enough to jog my memory.

        Now I use the drafts to tap out enough to remind me what I wanted to say. I have dozens of them in my draft file.

        It’s handy on days when I don’t have time to start from scratch. I can pull one up, round out what I’ve begun and post.

        I also keep one draft for “reblogs” – and paste the URL for those articles I want to share with my Blogtopia family. On Sunday, I open the file, select three and reblog them. (I don’t write on Sundays, and don’t want to write two on Saturday!).

        I’m so glad that I could give back in some small way all that I’ve learned from you. You’re truly a blessing as I find my way through the writing process.

        Have a blessed day.

        \o/

        • That sounds like such an effective and wonderful strategy! I like to keep titles and a sentence sketch when an idea hits but like you say, I tend to lose focus and forget what I meant to write about!

    • And isn’t it crazy how what we consider the “lame” posts tend to be popular? It blows my mind! Hahaha…. Good luck fighting Miss Haversham!

  16. Beauty lies in imperfection. If you did not produce any imperfection naturally you would need to add some to improve your work… I feel the same in songwriting or any creative work I do!

  17. Pingback: Reflecting on the Daily Blog Challenge | whitneylynngodwin

  18. Re-started my blog more than two weeks ago doing it daily and enjoying it. http://mastbmckenzie.blogspot.ca/

  19. Pingback: 5 Tips to Blog Your Best (and Making Blogging About You): No Matter Your Topic | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

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