Stop trying to make your work perfect. Be this instead.

Clayton J. Hester
3 min readJan 12, 2022
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

From the very beginning of any creative undertaking, be it writing a blog post, planning an event, designing a new product or brainstorming with friends there is this urge to create something perfect. The idea, the plan or the task seems so daunting that rather than begin at all we obsess over our own lack of ability to perform up to everyone’s expectations. (If I even meet my own expectations)

Without the following of this tradition, one can easily become paralyzed by their own perfectionism. By putting out an idea, you are taking the chance that it might not be perfect. But whatever is published is now in existence and can be changed for future publications/implementations (even if they are never noticed or used).

So how can we overcome this fear? I propose a different mindset: Be prolific, not perfect.

“I can’t publish that because it’s not perfect.”

-No one. If you get anything published, it means that someone thought it was good enough.

“What if I’m not happy with it?”

-The same people who want to read your blog posts will probably want to hear from you even if there are a few less-than-perfect posts. Future employers may not even care about it, or maybe they will and you can use that as a conversation starter to talk about your passion and show how dedicated you are to the industry/task/issue/product at hand.

“I’m just going to wait until it is perfect…”

-You might never publish anything, ever. And that’s fine if you have the means to produce perfection on your own or being spent behind a computer all day is not how you would like to spend your time. If nothing gets published, nothing changes.

“So what do I do?”

-Be prolific, not perfect.

The next time they are about to put something out, whether it is a newsletter, blog post or college application essay remember that the only thing holding you back is perfectionism.

Next time you are about to give up on an idea because there are problems with it, remember that nothing can be perfect and most things aren’t even meant to be.

Clayton J. Hester

Country boy. Explorer of the creative process & life, the arts, storytelling, innovation and history of ideas. Omnia in gloriam Dei facite —