Striving for perfection will not make your message stronger. In fact, it is pretty much guaranteed to keep your message bottled up, nice and tight, away from your readers.
I understand why you are doing it; don’t get me wrong! I totally understand that need to just wait one more minute before sharing your voice because it’s not quite perfect yet & maybe somebody might notice your commas or your spelling or your sentences or your pyjama bottoms…
And yes – being a skillful writer is definitely an asset as a business owner…but if you stop yourself from even starting the conversation, you will never learn those skills & develop yourself into a powerful writer anyway. So start!
This isn’t coming from nowhere.
I wasn’t planning on talking about perfectionism again during this series (I already railed against it here), but I had an amazing experience this week that reminded me of why I do what I do, & I just have to share it with you.
I was a trainer at the Etsy Maker Cities conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As such, I got to meet & speak with some lovely creative business owners about embracing their message & building their own online neighbourhoods. They reminded me of something I nearly forgot about myself.
It was amazing! I got to go set up shop in a local art studio – Wonder’neath Studios – and hang out for 2 hours with some wonderful local artists and makers. We talked about their Great Big Whys & the differences between their art & their message.
It was phenomenal. I still can’t get over the honour that I feel to have been invited by Etsy to be a part of this great new initiative to connect local artists & to support them. Simply amazing.
And one of my students – as usual – reminded me of something absolutely at the centre of what I care about.
So I was sitting with the small group of students who were gathering to learn about online community, when a woman tears bustling into the studio, slightly out of breath from having rushed into the city from an hour away – because she heard about the workshop at the last minute & just had to come.
I love her already.
She found a seat, and we continued with introductions. As we all talked about the reasons we each do what we do & the message we want to share, she showed that beautiful thing I see in so many of my students who have come to be known as multi-passionate: an over-bubbling of passions & ideas that can be overwhelming from the inside…but is often a perfect fodder for a beautiful message & Voice.
She loves researching & learning & sharing what she has experienced in her rich and varied life…but she has a serious struggle to overcome in order to do it.
She is originally from Germany & worries about her writing being “not good enough,” but she has some amazing stories to share. You can tell from sitting with her for only a few moments that she has so much to offer with her Voice…but she hasn’t been sharing it, guys!
She’s been keeping quiet because her grammar in English is too German & her grammar in German is now too English. She knows that it’s not perfect, and she feels like people will hate it or judge her. As a result, she hasn’t started blogging, though she really wants to leave her stories with the world.
So you know what I said, right? Of course you do!
I’ll say it again, & I’ll insist that you share it too, because every single woman needs to hear this:
She was terrified about starting a blog because of this fear of judgement, while other students talked about their Great Big Why with that sneaky little imposter syndrome gremlin on their shoulder saying, “But I’m not an activist, so I shouldn’t talk about that,” or, “I can’t imagine that I could teach this to people,” or “my customers’ stories are really the thing I love most…but I don’t know how I could share them.”
So I got really excited & totally sidetracked from the Action Plan we were about to create, & I got to talking about how we have the ability now to speak our message in our own Voice, without censure or censoring, on our own blogs.
And it’s FUN!
It’s also a great way to connect with your audiences & show them who you truly are, how you want to help them & where you are connected to one another. This is why we’ve been talking about it for over a month now & why I’ll likely keep on talking about it for a while longer.
And it’s why I decided months ago to create a BlogYourVoice Membership Bootcamp for all of us to work on together this year. I have been gearing up to offering it to you forEVER it seems, because it’s so stinking important to me that it’s got to be perfect…
And then I took a lesson from my students (as every teacher loves to do), and I decided I need to shake off that perfection foolishness & start sharing my Voice & my excitement with you NOW.
I’ve talked about this bootcamp on Periscope, Instagram & even hinted at it here, but I haven’t been ready to fully launch the thing until this week, so don’t feel totally out of the loop if you haven’t heard of it yet, but there are a handful of my die-hard BizKittens already signed up and chomping at the proverbial bit to get going, so I need to shake a leg & get this thing OUT THERE!
Check out some of my posts on blogging, if you are ready to jump into blogging this year & share your Voice & Message with your readers (but you might want some support while you do it & maybe even some ideas & worksheets to help you craft posts that are effective & fun). I’ve got you!
We’re going to do it together, & it’s going to be fantastic.
You mad? Excited? Have a perspective to share? Please do!
Want to read more? Check out these recent articles.
I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: if you want to be a writer, you have to write. Every. Single. Day. You need to put pen to paper & do the thing over & over again – & be willing for it to not be perfect…for a while. I often tell my daughter,…
I’ve always known that I wanted to be a writer. But I haven’t always known how to actually…well…BE a writer. I mean, I learned fairly early on how to write things: sentences, paragraphs, stories, poems…but that’s not what it takes to really be a writer. It’s a big piece of it, but it’s only a piece.…
The most common bit of writing advice out there is to, “Find your Voice,” but how do you even do that? Surprisingly, you have to stop trying.
It’s that horrible feeling when you sit down to write, but instead of finding that creative flow pouring out – you sit paralyzed, staring at your computer screen & seething at the impossible task of…words. Everybody who’s tried communicating with words has felt it: a paralyzing barrier between the idea you want to share & the ability to…
A few weeks ago, I went on the trip of a lifetime. I didn’t go on rides at Disneyland or see a Broadway show in New York City, & I didn’t go to Scotland to search for a family castle either. I will someday though. Sup, Clan MacLeod! I went to San Francisco; it wasn’t my first…
Your Editorial Calendar doesn’t need to feel like a set of creativity-handcuffs. It should feel like a comforting & inspiring guideline. One that allows you to be more creative. Not stifled & uninspired. I’m an idea machine. I’ve always been a “creative person,” whatever that means, & I operated under the assumption for a long…