I haven’t written a blog post in 2 weeks, guys.
And I know that everyone who is anyone says that I shouldn’t mention that in case you didn’t notice.
But I’m going to anyway, because even though it brings me further away from my editorial calendar, even though it’s not according to the plan, and even though it will cause you to notice my imperfections?
That’s kinda the point this time.
We’ve been talking about how blogging for your business can be totally accessible to everyone, and that YES you do have time to do it effectively (the irony does not escape me here), and I asked you what was the worst thing about blogging for you.
*If you want in on that conversation, go check out this post and tell me what you really hate*
The biggest complaint I heard – by far – was that blogging regularly simply takes too much time, and I get that! Obviously.
I hate the fact that I sometimes have to sink a whole day into one blog post, and it makes me crazy how much time I have to spend away from the work I want to do with clients to do it, but I realized this week that I miss sharing my Voice with you here, and I realized too that time isn’t the biggest villain that keeps me from doing it.
Perfection is. The idea that if we are going to step forward as an expert in our field and educate, inspire and empower our readers…we have to have it all figured out and labelled and sitting on a perfect shelf in a perfect box with a perfect label.
And that’s a load of crap. Because nobody can do all of that, and still remain human. Not all the time.
So no, I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t just take 2 weeks off from blogging (Read: took on too much work at the craziest time in my family’s year and then had extra life happen…because that’s what happens to humans with lives including other humans).
I’m not going to pretend that it didn’t happen in the middle of a blog series all about how you too can get a handle on your blog “just like me” and feel good about the blog you contribute to each week.
Instead, I’m going to put a big ole blinking arrow here, pointing to the fact that I have bumps and lumps and make mistakes too, so that you can recognize yours as a part of the package.
Click to Tweet: If you’re going to #ShareYourVoice with the world, sometimes it’s bound to crack & that’s beautiful, kitten.
It’s beautiful because it shows your humanity. It shows you are a vulnerable, real human being who is trying to give something genuine and real to the world you care about. And that sometimes you fall short of your own expectations.
But can I ask you a question?
How many of you noticed that I didn’t send you a post last week or the week before and then immediately decided that I’m a useless hack you never want to hear from again?
I hope that not many of you felt that way, because that would be ridiculous, right? You can see it clearly when it’s framed around someone else’s imperfection…but it’s hard to swallow the fact that your mistakes aren’t killing people.
And that’s what leads a lot of us to hide from our blog completely: the fear of being seen as imperfect.
I’ve seen it countless times with my clients and students. You’ve started your blog and even felt some real success and joy from it…and then you missed a week.
Or you wrote a post that wasn’t eaten up in the same way as your others.
Or someone wrote a comment about your typos or grammar mistakes.
Or you read someone else’s post on a similar topic, and it was so much better than yours.
Or you just got tired and felt like you had nothing left to say…
And then you…Just. Stopped. Writing.
Because you failed! You failed to reach some arbitrary measure of success that you gave yourself – or you failed to reach a well thought out goal you set.
Either way, perfectionism is the single most paralyzing factor in a lot of creative people’s lives, because we’re really great at something – which leads us to feel like we should be really great at everything – right away, all the time, no matter what.
We can’t be that though – and we don’t have to be.
Being a real person – with flaws and all – makes real, genuine connections. It’s a magical leveller that connects me to you, because I understand what it feels like to be a human.
Click to Tweet: Don’t hide from your mistakes! Learn from them. Glory in them, and share them.
Look at your mistake or misgiving and name it.
Tell yourself what you want to learn from it (don’t schedule a huge course to span over the transition from the school year to Summer vacation). Apologize if you should, without making empty excuses out of pride.
And then MOVE ON!
Avoid picking yourself apart and apologizing for things you don’t need to apologize for. Stop judging yourself by some imaginary measuring stick meant only for heroes and saints. Stop running away and hiding when you feel like you didn’t measure up, because what you give is worth more than a gold star for perfection.
So this is my mea culpa, kitten. This is me apologizing for not doing what I promised, and telling you that I’m back on the horse that kicked me off and our blog series will continue next week with the post I promised about creating images for your blog without paralysis.
If you don’t want to miss any of this series, or any other Writing, Blogging and Branding tips I share – sign up to receive posts (and free printables and fun news) in your inbox each week – With a K. Put your name and email in the green box in the sidebar, above my big ole face, and I’ll send you all I’ve got…even when it’s not perfect.
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Loved this post! Thank you for the reminder! I love that point you made about our voice cracking even in our writing. That totally describes those moments perfectly.
Thank you, Parijat!
It really feels like those moments when you are up on stage and get a little frog in your throat. You gotta clear your throat and go right back to what you were singing 😉
I’m trying to train myself, not to get wound up on “the ultimate”. I’m bad enough about trying to be perfectionist, but I’m awful about looking at where everyone else is in their journey, and feeling like I’m not good enough, because I’m not there. I actually worked my way all the way to the very earliest of April’s posts, a few weeks ago, and I discovered that she’s changed a lot through the years. She didn’t start where she is now. That lets me know, I’ve got room to grow too. 🙂
That is a great point, Amanda.
One of the great things about blogging is that you can have a running record of your progress – right there in the cloud – to keep you honest with yourself about your journey.
Good morning, Kris!
I’ve totally missed you! Super great post! I totes got over the perfect thing a long time ago. Okay, so maybe it’s more like a year. But, when you finally get it, it is so freeing! It frees up your creativity, so you can actually move forward instead of nitpicking the crap out of something. I always know if whatever I’m working on is good or not, just by how it’s making me feel as I create it. If I’ve got a secret smile working, if I’m in the zone, if I’m flippin’ craft happy, well duh . . . I’m liking it! The same applies to the rest of my biz and my life. One of the best things I’ve ever done, EVER, is get off that perfection train. It’s boring, it’s lonely, it’s expensive and it never gets to a fun destination! Jump off ladies!! Don’t waste another minute on that train! Only then are you really going to enjoy your journey! ♡ p.s. Kris, you always bring out the word – girl in me!!
Check in with yourself, and see if you are enjoying the process. Even if you aren’t right now – you might really enjoy it later, for SURE.
I think we take the joy out of the experience of sharing our message and loving our readers when we put these over the top, “Professional” expectations on ourselves, instead of expecting only to be having a conversation and sharing, right?
I missed you guys too 🙂
Wow! I needed this today. I have missed the last three scheduled blog posts because of an important family event. How I even thought I’d be able to pull those off is beyond me, but (as usual) I set the bar high and today I’ve still not pulled it together enough to post anything. It may have to wait until after this long holiday weekend…yes, I want to barf just saying that out loud/in writing! But you are right – life is imperfect and I need to just go with it. No one is emailing me hate mail, so I figure they are just going along with life and will be fine until my email/blog posts shows up again. 🙂
So set a new expectation today, Nalana.
Tell yourself that your next scheduled blog post is on ____, July the ____. And show up for that one. Shore up the rest and relaxation and joy-of-life you need, and then when you do show up? You’ll be on *fire* 🙂
Thank you for sharing your imperfections with us K-Dub!
Writing blog posts is hard for me. I have to write a lot every day; copy on my website, newsletter, product descriptions… Blogging can sometimes feel like the conversation you know you have to have but you’re just too tired to put the energy into it. And in real life, i prefer back & forth conversations, not monologues, which is pretty much what blog posts are.
I am REALLY trying to get more proactive and write more & longer pieces when i’m in the mood, and have them as back up for when real life demands my attention.
I think that if you love the back and forth thing, Red, you should figure out how to make your blog more that.
Set up a monthly feature when you are literately having a conversation with someone about something and sharing the transcript – or video – of it. Start asking pointed questions to your readers and enticing them to engage.
Receiving and responding to your comments is one of my favourite things about blogging, to be honest. Without this part, I’d feel oh so lonely, and wouldn’t be nearly as motivated to post.
Perfectionism is such a struggle! But I’m starting to be able to recognize it in myself and that’s the first step, right? Realizing that I have unrealistic expectations. For years I thought there was nothing wrong with trying to be perfect.
I’ve been having some imposter syndrome feelings about filming for Project STIR… I want it to be just right and I know I haven’t been practicing my filmmaking the way I should (hence Letters to July.) But I’ve been noticing mistakes in big professional tv shows and films… a frame when the focus is off in Star Trek, a cheesy low resolution Go Pro shot in the Hobbit, stock videography stuck in to Gilmore Girls, audio dubbing that doesn’t quite fit… and after a moment of judgement (I am a INTJ after all) I realize that maybe, just maybe I’m holding myself to an impossible standard. That if even Peter Jackson can’t have every frame look perfect I should expect myself to.
It’s the same when we create anything… we see the flaws more than anyone else. (Especially people who aren’t in our craft. I bet “normal” people didn’t even notice those “mistakes” from above.) It’s better to create something that’s flawed than not make it at all.
Rambling now, but my art teacher in college used to tell me that the flaws in my pottery were what gave it worth because it showed that it was handmade and not made by a machine. Years later and still trying to really embrace the messy. 😉
YES! The pottery thing is exactly the thing. Allowing, embracing and loving your imperfections allows your readers to love it too – and see you in it.
The *real* you – lumps, bumps and all.
It’s all texture, right?
I was just listening to Melissa Dinwiddie’s podcast about sharing before you’re ready and she quoted someone as saying “Other people see your work for what it is; you see your work for what it isn’t”. #deeptruth
I love that! That is exactly the thing.
We have these high expectations because we have vision and stunning creative imaginations. It’s a wonderful problem to have most of the time, but in those moments when we compare our imaginary version of our thing with the actual thing…we can get pretty darn cruel.
That pottery example is beautiful. When I was growing up, I always heard that the Amish purposely put mistakes in their quilts, because only God is perfect. Now, that’s since been proven to be a myth, but apparently it’s dang near impossible to make a perfect handstitched item anyway. lol.
One of the quotes I keep around me, to remind myself to not be so hard on myself is “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams (he made the Dilbert strip)