Perfection means something different to each of us. We all have our own ideals and concepts that we like to follow. Perfectionism can be a positive trait in that it helps to motivate us to do things to the best of our ability. However, it can sometimes have the opposite effect and actually stop us from being productive. Have you ever found yourself putting things off until they are absolutely perfect? Me too. What I’m learning is that, when it comes to blogging, it’s perfectly okay if things aren’t exactly how you want them to be– your blog doesn’t need to be perfect.
My ideals & the problem with them
When I first started my blog a couple of years ago, my ideal was that I would only share my own photographs in my blog posts. This was a perfectly achievable goal when I first began writing this blog. I was in arguably better health in that I was functioning and able to do far more than I am now. I was working full time and was able to go out and take photographs regularly.
Things changed around this time last year, however. My health deteriorated, chronic fatigue became a big issue and I was mostly bed and housebound. I struggled to even pick up my DSLR, let alone go out and shoot with it. I started to use photographs from my back catalogue, sometimes choosing photos that I wouldn’t have chosen to share if I didn’t feel I had to– these were perfectly accetable photos but ones that I didn’t consider my best work. Why was I doing this? Simply because I had this ideal in my head that it would be wrong to use photographs other than my own. To be perfect, my blog had to include only my own images.
It finally reached the point earlier this year where I was beginning to lose the motivation to blog at all because I didn’t have any photographs worth sharing. I had gotten so wrapped up in the concept of using my own photographs that it was having a negative impact on my creativity for writing.
I was feeling rather despondent about it all when I asked myself, “what’s the big deal?” I knew that ideally I wanted to share my own photographs to make my blog stand out and be unique– I didn’t want to use photographs that would be used by other bloggers. However, at the end of the day what does it really matter? I realised that it actually doesn’t– so long as the photographs used are good quality– and I therefore made the decision to start using stock photographs.
What I have learned
I have learned that is is no big deal to let go of perfectionism. Nothing bad has happened to my blog as a result. I am still very choosy when it comes to what images I use on my blog and I of course only use images that are licensed under “Creative Commons zero”, which basically means I am free to use them for any purpose I want even without attribution. You cannot just use any images you want from searches on the internet due to copyright laws. I do always include a photography credit– even though I don’t need to– because I want it to be easy to identify which images are my own and which are taken by other photographers.
Through letting go of my perfectionism I have lifted the pressure off myself to produce images when I am not fit to do so. This in turn has positively impacted my writing as I no longer feel stifled by this pretty ridiculous restriction I was placing on myself.
I can bet that there are probably others out there who have been in this position about some aspect of blogging too. Are you a perfectionist? Are there any perfectionisms you would benefit from letting go of? Perhaps being a perfectionist is stopping you from getting started with blogging or stopping you from hitting publish on a post? If you can relate to that, take a step back and realise it’s better to get started and get your posts out there than to continually put it off. Only you know what “perfect” looks like to you. No one else will even know it’s not exactly as you want it to be. That’s exactly why your blog doesn’t need to be perfect.
What are your thoughts?