Sunday, June 24, 2012

On Not Being Perfect

(This post is part of my series: An Aversion to Marketing with a Fear of Bleeding)

I think I've blogged consistently enough over the past couple weeks that I can talk about a recent blogging embarrassment without feeling too much like a fool. I had been on a roll, posting every day, and I was into this deep exploration of what blogging is all about, and thinking a lot about how I want to do it. I did a post called "The Rewards of Consistency," and then... radio silence. For, like, two weeks. I've had blogging lapses before, but rarely with such irony.

So intense was my sheepishness that it was hard to get back on the horse. But I want to talk a minute about how I did, because I think it's important.

In my writing about what I think is good blogging and what I want my blog to be, I've criticized treating it like a news feed. I figure no one is interested enough in me to simply want to read a long string of announcements about what I've been writing lately. But what kind of post did I use to get back in the swing? Exactly that kind. It's easy, it's fast, and it gave me an easy way to put some text between myself and that embarrassing post on consistency.

This is a key to writing, of all kinds. Sometimes, you screw up. You write something that embarrasses you. Or you spend a week writing and deleting the word "the." At that point, when you're in danger of going dark, you have to do whatever it takes to get going again, and it doesn't matter at all whether it matches your ideal.

If you've had writer's block for six months and all you can get yourself to write is a comic book script, then I hope you've got storyboard paper. I've let projects die altogether because I couldn't maintain progress on them up to my standards. Would I like to blog every single day, reap the rewards of consistency, and make every post incredibly thoughtful in the process? Of course I would. But that's not real life.

Real life is like a balance beam. You wobble. And if you have to use tricks to stay on, you do.

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