“The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

Update March 28, 2012: I am linking up with the Blog Bash by Ado and Alison in honor of their one year blogoversary.  Thanks for the opportunity to throw myself out there into the intimidatingly personal world of blogging and welcoming me with open arms.  This is my favorite blog post simply because it was my first.

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How often does the sentiment of this popular proverb paralyze us with inaction, dissatisfaction, or discontentment?  I was reminded of Voltaire’s prophetic words recently and realized that, in most aspects of my life I am a doer, a go-getter, if you will.  Living by a motto of “good enough,” I generally throw myself into tasks, new ventures, chores, and to-do lists with abandon.  Sometimes the end result is great, sometimes it is an abject failure.  Most of the time, the end result is merely good enough, passable, satisfactory.  Certainly not perfect, but acceptable, and through doing more and practicing more, the end product improves, takes shape, and becomes something of which I am proud.

There is one area, however, in which I tend to allow my quest for the perfect to hold me hostage and remain a victim of inertia – writing.  Many people struggle to put pen to paper and immortalize their thoughts through the written word, but for a freelance writer, like me, perfectionist attitudes toward writing can be a particular hindrance.  Unlike many writers, I do not journal, I do not save old articles or essays I have written, and I absolutely do not blog – until now, that is.

According to Dr. Alex Lickerman in a recent Psychology Today article, I am not alone in my obsession with perfection in a creative endeavor.   “We lose perspective on the quality of our creations the moment we create them,” Lickerman says, “[a]nd the more we pore back over them in pursuit of a fresh perspective, the farther it moves away from us.”

For the past months (or even years), I have pondered entering the world of blogging as a creative outlet and a means of advancing my career and improving my writing techniques.  As a freelance writer, I am familiar with the blogosphere, and I even ghostwrite blogs for various attorneys and law firms; yet, somehow writing my own blog was an undertaking for which I felt wholly unprepared.

Several fears and doubts fostered my inertia:  Who would read what I had to say?  If people did read my written pieces, how would they be received?  Was I ready to open myself up to criticism and judgment?  And, ultimately, what the hell would I write about?

As a former attorney and current legal writer, a legal theme was an obvious choice.  But since I am a non-practicing attorney and I am not looking for a way to reach potential clients, I did not want to write a legal marketing blog.

As a stay-at-home mom of two young boys, a parenting blog was another obvious choice.  But I am more often than not the one seeking parenting advice rather than giving it, so I did not want to write a parenting or family-focused blog.

Finally, as I take a stab at writing my first book – one that focuses on progressive religion in the 21st century – a spirituality-based blog seemed like another obvious choice.  But, I am not a minister or religious scholar (nor do I plan to be one), I lack the education and training necessary to sustain a blog of this kind and, ultimately, I do not want to limit myself to these topics.

So, what will this blog be about?  Well, it will largely be a mixture of all three things.  It will be a blog about the current intersection of the law, politics, culture, and religion; about resolving my radically liberal faith with conservative religious stereotypes and attitudes; about struggling as a parent to raise my children in a way that aligns with my humanist ethics, but provides a spiritual framework that will allow them the freedom to develop their own theology.

So here I am with my theme, my blog web address, and my first blog nearly written, yet I can’t help but wonder:  Will I actually get up enough courage to post this blog?   Will I get cold feet?  Will my quest for “the perfect” kill any possibility of obtaining “the good?”

Or, as suggested by Lickerman, can I put my fears aside and be “freed from the need to attain the unattainable [so that] I can instead focus on enjoying the challenge of simply doing my best?”

Linking with:

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