I have a hard time dealing with the idea that good enough can be good enough.
It was the same when I decided, for at least the fourth time in two years, to scrap my blog and start a new one.
Before this, I’d been blogging for the best part of ten years, managed blogs for clients and had a pretty good idea of what I was doing.
I had an idea, more or less, of how I wanted my new blog to look and had more than enough ideas for content; all I had to do was get started.
Scrap the old blog.
Tinker with a new theme.
Write some posts.
Except there was one thing hindering my progress:
Just not good enough
To put it a better way, the one thing getting in my way was this:
Myself, and my insistence that only the very best will ever be good enough.
On its own, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
No matter what you do, if you take any kind of pride in your work, you want that work to be the absolute best it can be.
It could be a case of that ugly word perfectionism, personal pride or a desire to be the very best in our chosen field.
It could simply be a fear that if we don’t deliver our best we’ll ultimately be rejected, be it by our peers, clients, publishers, fans or anyone else whose opinions matter to us.
All perfectly natural and valid reasons of course, yet not without their own problems.
The longer we work on something, be it writing an article or novel, creating art or even polishing off a business project, the harder it becomes to unleash it into the world at large and let go.
The Hidden Masterpiece
It’s the reason some very creative and talented people take years to put out a new piece of work.
It’s the reason why our favourite musicians spend so long between albums and it’s also the reason why some people never let the world see how truly talented they are.
I know of, and I’m sure you do too, at least a handful of people who may be exceptionally good at what they do, yet will never let anybody see it because whatever it is they do isn’t the best it can be.
Take the writer who leaves a masterpiece of manuscript sitting in a drawer for all eternity for example. He vows that he will, eventually, submit it to a publisher..only not right now, it could be so much better.
Sure it could be better. Everything could always be better.
Though if he’d just allow himself to let it go, he’d see that it’s already good enough, and could easily be the next big bestseller.
Back to the Blog
In my own case, it was the reason I toyed and tinkered and agonized over relaunching my blog.
I can’t begin to tell you how many different template designs I tried nor how long I spent playing around with the code for each one in an attempt to get a design that was absolutely perfect.
Nor can I express how many different titles, sub-titles and descriptions I went through in a desperate attempt to sum up what I want to achieve with this little corner of the web.
In either case, I’m still not satisfied with either.
Both title and design could be so much better, but for now they’re at least good enough, and even though I could spend much longer agonising over what constitutes the perfect blog, I simply had to let go and unleash this thing out into the world.
After all, I can always change it.
I recently read an old interview with Bob Dylan in which the legendary musician claimed that his classic songs, as they appear on record, were never intended as the finished product.
Instead, the prolific songwriter insisted that these records were merely ‘blueprints’ which he would then expand upon, change and rework as the years went on.
Clearly Dylan never thought that some of the most well-written songs of the past several decades were absolutely the best that they could be, but he was satisfied that they were good enough to be unleashed into the world.
The result? 35 studio albums (and counting) and a career unrivalled by just about anybody.
Even if most of us never reach the heights of creativity or success that Dylan has, even if all we want to do is start a blog, surely learning to let go and worrying about improvements later is a good way to start?
To sum up then:
- Your work is probably better than you think it is
- Let it go and let people see it
- You can always improve later.