Ahhh, the P word. It’s the enemy of creativity. I suffer from this deadening, gut-wrenching, anxiety-inducing condition myself. And I know I’m not alone. Perfectionism should be banned from the creative process, especially if you’re writing and producing content. It’s more important to write and produce MORE quality content than to hit absolute perfection every time you publish.
Here are some ideas for doing your best work, more easily, quickly and happily.
- Don’t censor yourself. When you’re in first draft mode or just starting to play with visual ideas, let the shit fly. You’ll be happy to know that those first lame ideas can lead to fresh thinking. At this stage, just get the words and image ideas out of you and onto paper, your computer or your tiny device. Recording on your phone is great, because you can capture your unique voice and translate it to the written word.
- The beauty of a first draft. I generally write my first draft very quickly, almost like stream-of-consciousness. And then I put it down. When I come back with fresh eyes, I can see a flaw in the flow, or ideas that don’t hang together. Makes it easy to add new lines that sparkle and ideas that engage.
- Buy time. When you’re setting up the schedule for a creative project, make sure you build in time to look at your work in the cold light of morning. Even if you’re on a rush job, leave yourself time to go for a walk, get up and stretch, lift weights, listen to music. Sleep on it. Your brilliant unconscious mind will get to work, showing you another way to tap into new thinking. I like to think of it as working your magic.
- The miracle of brainstorming. Two heads are generally better than one. I learned about collaboration back in my ad agency days. Writer/art director teams worked together on every assignment. Even small space ads. Not only would we laugh a lot, the work got better and more on target because we got to play with wild ideas.
- Let go! Perfectionism can really hold you back, especially when you’re working on your own stuff. The limits of time and energy push me into small windows for writing my own blog posts, editing blasts, deciding on key words, finding and sizing images, thinking about a headline that says it all. There comes a time when I have to say it’s good to go. Publish it! Post it! Blast it! So that’s what I’m going to do right now. I’m going to publish this post, and I won’t look back.
If you absolutely do not have time to create your own website copy, blog posts or emails, just give me a call at 415/763-8619 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Writing useful and engaging content for you, would be a joy for me. Because I’m going to follow my own advice.