Day 31 of the 500-words daily writing challenge
So I wasn’t perfect.
I set out to write at least 500 words every day for a month.
Didn’t do that.
Missed a few days. Stopped short a couple times.
But, this challenge got me busy writing. I’ve written more this month than all last year.
But “how much” was not the goal.
That’s not the purpose of the challenge. Just 500 is all that is required each day. That’s not much at all. But 500 words almost every day for a month results in a lot.
Hmm. Maybe I should tally those words. Or maybe that’s a distraction to actually writing.
Writing like this forces you to leave perfectionism in the dust
If you really do like you’re supposed to do, you won’t even try to edit while you write. You’ll just keep those fingers tapping the keys till 500 words pour out of you.
But I still edit.
I’m going to try the whole “don’t edit” thing as I go forward past the end of this challenge. But see, I couldn’t even leave that sentence alone. I felt compelled to make it better.
But not perfect.
I’m not trying to be perfect anymore
I used to do that.
Many times the pull toward perfectionism caused me to not write, not finish. It wasn’t perfect. It needed work. But I couldn’t push myself to work on it till I achieved that illusive “perfect.”
I’ve done that in writing as well as podcasting. You name it. I want things to be just right. I don’t want to embarrass myself by expressing my creativity in less than perfect ways.
But do you know how much work you have to do to achieve perfection?
No, you don’t know it. I don’t know it. No one knows it.
Absolute perfection is impossible.
Perfection is an illusion
No matter how perfect you think your work is, someone else will find flaws.
Someone else will not appreciate it.
Someone else will not understand it.
And even if you don’t care about anyone else—though that does make me question why you’re pursuing this work—you yourself will not think it’s perfect as you begin Project #2.
Perfectionism is an obstacle.
Don’t trip over the obstacle.
Do something different.
Being consistent with whatever work you do is far better than being perfect. And being consistent might actually take you closer to so-called perfect than pursuing perfect ever will.
Being consistent will help you improve your skills. Writing every day, even if it’s incredibly rough, will help make you a better writer.
Podcasting consistently will improve your content creation and presentation skills because you’ll really get the hang of it and discover what you need to do to make it better.
Caveat: Don’t necessarily jump on the daily podcasting train. That’s difficult to do if you have other things in your life like family, work obligations, etc. Find a schedule that works for you (weekly, every two weeks, or even monthly). Do the work. Keep consistent. You’ll see and hear yourself improve.
One last thought
While consistency is better than perfectionism, don’t try to pursue consistency perfectly.
Sometimes, things in life truly take precedence over what you’re attempting to be consistent at.
The key is to get back up as quickly as you can.
And of course, make sure the consistent goal is small enough you can accomplish it even during busy seasons of life.
And that’s that
The 500-words daily writing challenge has come to an end.
Thank you, Jeff Goins, for challenging us all.
Meanwhile, I have about a hundred new ideas.
So I’ll be writing about those things tomorrow.
And the next day.
And the day after that.