Embracing Imperfection

Yesterday, I was looking over my new blog, and I found a typo. And then a second. Two typos.

Crap. I’m supposed to be better than that. My first job out of college was as a copy editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. My second job was teaching English. And now I’m putting out a blog with a bunch of typos.

In my rational mind, I know my blog will never be error free. The best magazines employ teams of professionals to read and proof every article at least a half-dozen times before publishing, and their sites aren’t error free. I shouldn’t expect perfection out of mine.

But still, it eats at me.

Like a teenager obsessing over a zit, for a while, I struggle to think about anything else.

Of course, it’s not about the pimple. It’s not about the typo.

It’s about the fear that my site’s not good enough. More critically, that I’m not good enough. That because I’m not James Joyce or David Foster Wallace or Maria Popova or some such thing, that I’m not worth reading. That no one will care what I have to say.

I have a confession to make. There is something very naked and terrifying about writing this blog, much more than other writing I’ve done. Unlike writing I’ve done about the economy, or current events, or my business, this is personal. These are my ideas laid bare.

So when I see a typo, I see a zit. It makes me feel ugly.

But I will never have the perfect body, and I will never have the perfect blog.

What I will try to do is publish anyway. To write and think and explore and engage in a way I find compelling. I’ll edit every post and try to find the errors and then publish and let go.

Most ideas and dreams get sacrificed on the altar of perfectionism. But there is something inherently noble in the act of producing any creative work, regardless of quality. And the only way to produce work of special quality is to create lots of works of lesser quality along the way.

So, with that in mind, please pardon my dust.