A photo of a walkway and some tree-like structures. They have purple glass centers at the top.
Photo by Victor / Unsplash

On Perfectionism

Anxiety sucks. It keeps me from doing what I'm excited to do, like writing blog posts. But no more.

Alex Karp

I created this blog almost three years ago. In those three years, I’ve written four posts. I’ve redesigned by blog at least five times and I’ve used four different platforms, including John Sundell’s Publish. And I’ve used three different markdown editors.

Why am I writing this? Because with each of these changes, I’ve convinced myself that if I just made this change, everything would just click and I’d be able to post regularly. The grass was always greener.

Some of you might be thinking, ”Well, did it work?” To which I’ll remind you: four posts in three years.

Now, in all fairness, a few things have happened over the last three years. I:

  • Wrote and self-published a full-length book.
  • Switched jobs. Twice.
  • Got married. (micro-weddings FTW!)
  • Bought a house.

Not to mention a global pandemic. But in reality, there was one thing stopping me from posting more: perfectionism.

It’s not like I didn’t have ideas — I had mind maps and outlines full of ideas. Nor was I shy about sharing my opinions with others. I even have stubs written for at least a dozen posts, so it’s not like I haven’t known where to start — it’s the very beginning, a very good place to start. The problem has always been that I’ll agonize over every word in every sentence. And I’ll get so deep into bikeshedding that I’ll convince myself that no one really cares what I have to say anyway, especially if it’s written poorly. And thus, I set my writing aside.

So. What am I going to do about it?

I’m going to post something. Every week. Every Tuesday. It doesn’t matter if it’s only a few words, it doesn’t matter if those words aren’t as eloquent as they could be. I’ll dust off my old post ideas and start to flesh them out. And I won’t allow my brain to convince me that no one cares what I have to say.

Beloved author Terry Pratchett — who wrote more than 60 novels, plus countless companion books — did so by making it his goal to write just 400 words per day. 400 words seemed like a manageable amount to do in a day to him, but done five days a week for 50 weeks per year (he gave himself two weeks vacation), it amounted to 100,000 words! So that’s going to be my goal. 400 words seems like a manageable amount.

And this is the first of such posts. What will next week’s post be about? Who knows! You’ll just have to stay tuned!