Publish and be proud

 

The first and only draft

I often question whether I spend enough time writing my blog posts.  I tend to draft them fairly quickly, usually handwritten with a fountain pen, then type and edit them by tweaking here and there.  Then I hesitate for a second before hitting the publish button.  However, because no-one’s reading them, and I write purely for myself, there’s only a slight feeling of pressure on me.  There’s less at stake as long as I don’t cause unnecessary offence. 

When it comes to my current (and past) university assignments, it’s a different matter.  I spend hours drafting, re-drafting, re-re-drafting, editing, re-editing, re-re-editing, to the point of feeling totally fed up with the whole business.  Here I feel the need to make it perfect and even though I know that such perfection cannot be achieved, another person’s approval becomes so important to me.  Consequently, the entire process becomes a laborious chore. 

I once read that 20 per cent of the effort generates 80 per cent of the result; the remaining 80 per cent of effort, namely everything I do after my initial drafting of an essay, only amounts to 20 per cent of the result.  Little wonder it’s such a burden, all enjoyment destroyed. 

This blog on the other hand produces no such pressure.  It’s purely for pleasure so I only put in 20 per cent effort for the 80 per cent outcome, accepting that it hasn’t got to be perfect, just good enough for me.  If you decide to read it, then it’s up to you to decide whether or not you like it.  You’re entitled to your opinion and, although obviously welcome, I’m not seeking your approval. 

What I’m getting at is with my essays, the agony outweighs the ecstasy, whereas with my blog and other writing, the reverse is true.   What I need to do now is to apply this approach to my assignments because why shouldn’t they be a pleasure as well.  After all, the whole purpose of my study is to gain a greater understanding, broaden my knowledge, challenge my preconceptions, open myself up to new perspectives.  In fact, the exact same reasons for which I am writing this blog. 

OK, I’m going to hit the publish key now.  I’ve enjoyed exploring and clarifying my thoughts on this and hope you respect them in the same way that I will respect your response to them.  My finger is hovering over the publish key.  Deep breath.  Five…four…three…two…

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2 Responses to Publish and be proud

  1. Wow! What a great blog! You are not alone with how you feel. I often worry about pleasing others and about a comma being in the right place. One time it got so bad that I had to turn off the grammar and spell check from Word. When I did that, everything changed, even my mood. My fingers glided more quickly across the keyboard, my mind wouldn’t stop thinking about the storyline, and I got more and more excited with how it was going. I did this for a week, and then turned back on the grammar and spell check, and realized that I wasn’t as bad as I thought.

    I encourage you to just WRITE and not worry about please people and about editing. Afterall, wouldn’t it be more fun to say that you’ve written a story, rather than being obsessed with perfection — save it for the editing part!

    • seaswift says:

      Thank you so much for your comments. I’ve recently submitted an assignment where I produced one first draft and then carried out two time-limited edits before the final review. The results were just as good as those on which I spent many agonising hours so it looks like the 20% effort/80% result rule is true. I’m just off to check out your blog now.

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