Raise your hand if you’re imperfect.
Okay, put it down; you’re gonna need it to scroll through this post.
Most of us accept imperfections in our life:
- The eyeliner on your left eye that never quite matches the line on your right.
- The burned roast—but it’s only burned on one side; you can slice that right off. Or—hey!—become a vegan.
- The attempt at parallel parking that…Well, do I really need to detail all the ways that can go wrong?
We park the car imperfectly and move on. Because we have to. Because if we futzed around until it was perfect we’d miss our lunch appointment…and probably dinner too.
Why can’t we do the same thing when our writing is imperfect?
So your writing’s imperfect? Join the club
No one writes well all the time. No one. I’ve said it before—many people have said it before, but none as eloquently as Ernest Hemingway, who opined:
Everyone’s first draft is shit.
And of course he was right. I mean, maybe one in a million people writes brilliantly right out of the gate. More likely that one in a million just thinks that—and they’re wrong.
So what do you do with imperfect writing?
You figure out how much time you can spend parallel parking it, and then you get out of the car—step away from the computer—and make it to your appointment on time.
Your appointment, in this case, is not lunch but your writer’s group, or your class, or your blog, or your supportive best friend who’s been writing for longer than you.
Get out of the car, no matter how badly you’ve parked it, and let another human being read your work. Yes, your imperfect, human work.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking
But maybe they’ll hate it.
And indeed, maybe they will. But did you ever consider this? Maybe they won’t.
You can try all the confidence-boosting tricks in the book—but nothing—No. Thing.—can replace feedback from an actual reader.
I mean, that’s what you’re writing for, right? To be read.
Don’t be shy about it. It’s a perfectly fine goal, even for an imperfect writer like you. And me.
So make a commitment:
- When you will share.
- How you will share.
- With whom you will share.
- What you will share.
And then make like Nike: Just do it.