Making it Rain Inspiration: Kill Perfection

By Jessica Albon

This post is part of the Making it Rain Inspiration series. You can read all the posts if you’ve missed any.

Welcome back to the imperfect series on finding inspiration when you’re out of inspiration. Today’s tip is short and sweet: Let it be imperfect.

All too often, we get caught up in the refinement stage, in the making things right, fixing them, perfecting them. It’s easy to do–after all, we want to do our best work and we want things to be “just so” for other people. We want our readers to think well of us, but more than even that, we want to communicate clearly and not be misunderstood, we want our readers to have an easy time reading our articles, and we want our writing to make a mark on the world–all of which, we believe, only happens when we do “good work.”

Don’t confuse good with perfect

Unfortunately, we often confuse good with perfect, and we also often forget that simply getting it out there will move it towards refinement. Whether a big computer platform (like Vista), or a small article (like this one), making the project available to others is one simple way to revise. Letting your readers interact with your work, letting them misunderstand and make a mess of what you’ve written–all of that can make you a better writer.

In fact, it was in writing this particular tip that I found the source of my own inspiration drought, and perhaps you can relate. As someone who’s been so prolific, and as someone who’s considered to be a really good writer… I was starting to feel like everything I wrote had to be at a certain (very high) standard. And not only is that impossible (we all write crap, some of us, more than others), but it’s also not a heck of a lot of fun.

Don’t move the baseline

When you’re new at this, those great articles stand out as a fabulous accomplishment. But, when you’ve been doing this writing thing for awhile, instead of letting the great articles be accomplishments, you start to think they have to be the baseline. And it’s true, your writing has improved and will continue to improve. But, that doesn’t mean everything you write will be great.

So, let yourself be imperfect. Let yourself write crap. Be okay with your especially spectacular articles *not* being your baseline.

What do you think? Is this the cause of your inspiration drought, too? If not, don’t fret, just keep doing these three things, and check back with me in a few days.