Perfect vs. Publish

I’m not great at starting things. I get to going, almost finish, but then my perfectionism kicks in and it’s three years before I hit publish.

Recently I tried launching a blog that I wasn’t 100 percent ok with with. I took the advice of others and said, “What the hell? I’ll try it out.”

However, to be completely honest with you, it was miserable trying to write for something I don’t feel comfortable putting my name on, much less my approval and support.

So, very quietly, I tinkered away with this site in the background. I’d work, get frustrated, throw it away for months, and then start tinkering again. This cycle continued for almost four years. Yeah. Four years. Basically, my site could have gone through high school just as quickly.

Was the wait worth it? I think so. Would I do things differently if I could do it over again? Definitely. Only, there’s a problem. I’m not sure how I’d do it differently because I'm not sure where the line between “publish” and “perfect should have been drawn.

What kind of time frame is there for “just right?” How do you know when it’s too early and when does the buzzer go off that it’s too late? When does “getting everything right” become a burden, instead of a goal?

I’ve been worrying about these questions for the past few weeks as some of my wonderful friends and I put the final touches on this new site. Whenever there’s a deadline, I always seem to come sliding in last minute, but I didn’t want that this time. I wanted to do it right.

And so I set the goal of “do it right.”

Which turned into doing it “better.”

Soon followed by “it needs to be perfect.”

Quickly, as is typical, I realized perfection was impossible, and (here’s me being honest again) I was on the verge of scrapping the whole project.

But then Jon Acuff gave me a round-house to the gut. Right now I’m reading Jon’s book, Quitter. It’s great. I highly recommend it for anyone with a dream.

But anyways, in the book Jon says, “90 percent perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100 percent perfect and stuck in your head.” And I just went “Whooaa! Did he write this specifically for me?”

Maybe that’s the key.

Not 100 percent, but not on the fence (which I guess would be 50 percent).

Not perfect, but not average.

To me, 90 percent means “I’m proud of it, but there’s still room for improvement.”

That’s exactly what I’m committing to: Second guess less and publish more.