The modern online environment is driven by quality content that is aspired by advertisers and bloggers alike. Providing a consistent supply of interesting materials may be difficult, especially if you have multiple obligations and have not yet been able to turn your blog into a sustainable career. Opposite to popular belief, perfectionism may not be the best option when you are stuck in a creative rut. If you feel that you may be stressing a bit too much, here are 6 tried-and-tested ways to overcome this problem and become more successful as a blogger.
1. Define Your MVP
The MVP or a minimum viable product is a concept popular among marketers. It implies that most customers will be satisfied with the offerings that are ‘good enough’ rather than ‘exceed all their expectations’. You can probably name several albums of your favourite bands that are ‘just OK’ or some Marvel movies that were ‘not that bad’. However, these somewhat mediocre products provided the resources (yes, money) for future hits and paved the way for the following successful releases. Most human beings cannot be consistently creative throughout their careers. Moreover, no one expects you to be flawless every time. Set your ‘lower limit’ that will be absolutely satisfactory for your readers and yourself. If you can deliver this quality consistently day after day, call it a win. You can always add more when inspiration finds you.
2. Create ‘Creative Reserves’
The inconsistency of inspiration contradicts the need to constantly publish new posts with a consistent level of quality. Your desire for perfection will only increase your stress levels when you encounter the lack of ideas and have a strict time limit. To prevent this situation, you may ‘stock’ some blog materials. Many forms of content are not time-bound and can be published at any moment. Hence, having a stock of such publications will keep your schedule up to date during your periods of frustration or the times when you have personal problems or obligations. This is necessary to give you the required break from excessive workloads when you need it and prevent burnout.
3. Consider the Worst-Case Scenario
In most cases, perfectionism is deeply rooted in your fear of failure. You are going to write a horrible post, your subscribers will leave you, your advertising income will disappear, and you will have to return to your 9-to-5 job and never try blogging again. When you define your ‘failure scenario’ in all smallest details, it usually appears highly unrealistic. This exercise expands your ‘tolerance limit’ by showing you that you can overcome your creative crisis and succeed eventually even if you have to temporarily accept lower quality standards or a different course of action. At the same time, it also provides clear routes to reduce your stress and uncertainty by stocking future publications or implementing other failsafe mechanisms.
4. Experiment with Bad Writing
If your greatest fear is being really bad in creating content for your blog, the only way to overcome it is to face it. Write a bad article with zero proof-reading in a sphere you know little about. Put it in a hidden folder on your PC. Open this directory a week later and take a critical look at your ‘lowest point in life as a blogger’. Is it really that bad? In some cases, these experiments might actually inspire you or help you find some new areas for developing your talents. If your creativity roadblock is associated with the sense of routine and repetitiveness, you really need to integrate such interruptions into it. You may also find that the removal of certain self-instilled routines and limitations actually speeds up your writing processes without sacrificing the content quality.
5. Stop Seeking Social Confirmation
If you meet many people in your life, chances are that you adore some of them and really cannot stand others. In the modern world of interaction-based advertising, YouTube videos get promoted for both likes and dislikes. Whether we like it or not, your popularity as a blogger is affected by the aggregate number of people loving your content and hating it. No matter how much you try to impress your readers, you will always get your share of hate mail and criticisms. To tame your perfectionism in this sphere, find the ‘success measures’ that are more credible such as advertisements monetisation results, the number of visitors or the number of reposts. You are writing because you have something to say and you have no obligations to your readers. Trying to be a perfect blogger for everyone is even more counter-productive than trying to be a perfect blogger in your own eyes.
6. Focus on the Process
Yes, you can make occasional typos, write mediocre articles or fail to respond to criticisms in the comments in a witty manner. The main problem with perfectionism as a solution to these issues is its underlying belief that you can remedy all of them right now through a single concentrated effort. Unfortunately, it just does not work this way. To become a fantastic writer, you need to write every day for many years to hone your skills. If proof-reading is not your strongest talent, you have to complete a professional course in this sphere. All effective solutions accept your flaws and focus on your productive and gradual development in the long-term perspective. On the contrary, perfectionism creates paroxysmal seizures of uncoordinated and excessive activities that only create more weariness and self-hatred.
The best idea for fighting perfectionism is to find who actually wants you to be perfect as a blogger. If you are highly critical of yourself and other people, it is possible that the unrealistic standards and expectations are created by you and you alone. In this case, the above-mentioned ideas will allow you to identify such patterns and get rid of them. However, the socially-oriented form of perfectionism can be trickier since it largely reflects the high competitiveness of the modern blogging environment. While you should not ignore the objective problems in your writing, you may want to look at them from a different perspective. Perfectionism adversely affects your productivity and your capability to write more, i.e. to become more proficient and recognised in your craft. Hence, discarding it does not lower your quality standards but makes you a better writer.