I’ve been writing Happily Imperfect for six months now. I figured it was a good time to reflect a bit on how I’ve applied the principals of being “happily imperfect” to my writing.
My goal in writing this blog is to encourage you toward greater self-worth: to overcome perfectionism and people-pleasing and realize that your true, authentic self is completely worthy. You don’t need to prove your worth repeatedly through achievements and pleasing others. These are the same issues that I’ve worked to overcome myself and that I specialize in counseling people about in my San Jose based counseling practice.
Blogging has definitely presented some new challenges for me as a recovering perfectionist. Below are my tips for successful blogging (although I think many of them can be applied to other endeavors as well).
6 Tips for being a Happily Imperfect Blogger
- Just get it done. Whether it’s procrastination or analysis paralysis holding you back, the key is to stop overthinking, coming up with excuses, and face the fear. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. It needs to be “good enough”. As Margaret Atwood said, “If I waited for perfection…I would never write a word.” Don’t let perfectionism prevent you from writing.
- Don’t worry too much about spelling and grammar. I’m sure most of my posts have some spelling and/or grammatical errors. Yes, I proof read, but I still miss things. Like a lot of bloggers, I didn’t go to school to be a writer, so I’m sure my grammar isn’t perfect. I do the best I can and keep learning.
- Develop a thick skin. If you share your writing, you will be criticized. It’s not that you might be criticized, it’s a certainty. I try to remember Don Miguel Ruiz’s wisdom in his best-selling book The Four Agreements – Don’t Take Anything Personally. That means I don’t take either the glowing comments or the hateful comments personally. I do appreciate it when you take the time to leave a thoughtful comment, but I also know that your feelings and reactions to my posts aren’t about me. I work hard not to get caught in this particular people-pleasing trap. Not everyone likes my blog. That’s OK. There are plenty of other fantastic blogs on Psych Central or other places around the web. Mine is not the end all be all.
- Blogging isn’t a popularity contest. Comparison is another deadly trap for bloggers. There’s always going to be a post with more social media shares, a catchier title or a cuter graphic than yours. Comparison is a direct path to feeling inferior. What’s popular or “the best” is subjective. It’s important to read what your colleagues are writing, but it’s not a competition. There’s room for everyone.
- Admit when you’re wrong. We all make mistakes. If you misquote someone or otherwise mess up, gracefully offer an apology and correction and move on.
- Be yourself. People read your blog because they like your unique perspective. Don’t try to please everyone or you’ll dilute your message to the point it’s meaningless. Let your personality shine through.
Thank you for reading my “happily imperfect” blog posts. And to all my fellow writers: Keep writing!
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