I’m not a writer, per se. Sure, I do a lot of writing (and communicating in general), but my real passions are business and helping people. Writing is one of the tools in my toolbox to help me achieve the ambitions that flow from those passions.
One of the things I’ve learned from writing, however, has stood me in good stead in all of my ventures. I call it the “good enough” principle, although there’s probably some catchy name for it out there already. It’s simply this – at some point, you have to accept that something is good enough and just let it go. This comes up frequently when writing, because you could always phrase something better or be a little more clever or have just a little more humour in your article. It’s easy to become a perfectionist when you’re writing something.
The problem with being a perfectionist is that there is no such thing as perfect. You’ll simply never be done if you’re trying to be perfect – and the more time you spend on any one task, the less time you’re spending on others. There comes a point where you need to draw a line and say “that’s it, I’m done.”
Of course, you don’t want that point to be chosen arbitrarily. When you set out with a task, give yourself a firm set of goals that you wish to achieve through the course of working on the project, and let yourself know that you’ll be considering your task completed when you achieve those goals. For example: for this article, I’d like to clearly communicate a certain concept. Once I’ve done so – and I think I’ve done it – then I will be able to consider this article completed, even though there may be a better way I could have put it, or there may have been more information I could have disclosed.
Remember – at the end of the day, it’s not the things you’re doing that people will remember; it’s the things you’ve done.