As most of us do with a new year, I am reviewing my processes and goals for the next 365 days. Part of this process is coming to terms with your past failings and just as importantly, why you failed to reach your goals. A couple of the things I am personally famous for (not Hollywood star famous, but among friends and family, oh man!) is demanding perfection and over-complicating things. I want everything to be perfect right out of the gate, but as we all know, perfection is unattainable by we humans. This year, I am going to crack down on some of these things.
From a writing perspective, I am always worried about what my site looks like; am I using it correctly to gain the best possible impact from SEO, and does my content have spot on perfect grammar, punctuation, and flow? There are more little gotchas, but these are the biggies for me. These are all things that keep me not from writing, but from publishing.
Seriously, I have well over 30 posts sitting in a draft status on this site right now that probably date back a couple of years if not more. I probably have another 30 to 50 more spread out through my file systems and cloud storage that were written to 80% or more completion and have never seen the light of day.
This is a real problem. It seems every year that I do the same thing where I plan on writing more and gin myself up to really stick to my guns, and I just don’t make it happen. I have a good idea why, as I stated above, but this year I am hoping I have licked the problem. Or at the very least figured out a way to fight against it.
I plan on being better than ever, by being worse. That’s right, being worse. I am not going to sweat every little detail. I will edit my posts once, twice at most and then I will schedule it to publish and move on! I will not spend tons of time sweating what my social blasts say. I will use few tools, but make sure they have the most impact by removing more obstacles.
At the end of the day, my posts may occasionally be shorter than my personal 300 word minimum requirement. They may contain grammar and\or spelling errors. If they were written late at night, they may not even have great flow or even be a true set of coherent thoughts. They may have broken links, and may not even have clever images that correlate with the content of the post itself.
All of this being “worse” means I will be better this year than I ever have been in previous years. Why, you may ask? Because an amazing post that is 80% complete that never gets published, will never be as good as a good post that is 100% complete and published, every time…. EVERY TIME. Every single time, a published post will beat an unpublished post.
So, this is my plan for the year. I will of course do my best to ensure that my posts avoid all of the pitfalls and writing evils above. But, as important as the post itself, is publishing and I will do this by doing what I can to automate, to simplify, and to accept my own fallibility and just hit the freaking publish button.
This post was inspired by my frustration of never moving forward with my publishing and also by an amazing post about starting writing by my friend John Saddington. It is a long post, but trust me, totally worth the read. Even if you just skim the post from John (which would be a shame), check out his free “10 Days to a Better Blog!” online course starting on January 5th.