When it comes to writing, there’s no such thing as perfect

Well thanks y’all for the love on my last post. I loved reading each and every elevator pitch you sent me, and helping you refine them to reflect you and your businesses. There are some pretty impressive ladies (it was ALL ladies who took me up on my offer, believe it or not!) doing really cool things out there. Man, I love this small biz world.

I noticed, however, an interesting phenomenon. A lot of you were looking for the perfect wording for your description. Well, I hate to break it to you, but… when it comes to writing, there’s no such thing as perfect.

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Unlike math or science, when we write, we are not in pursuit of a single, correct end result – it doesn’t exist. Writing is a (very) inexact science and there are many ways to communicate a single idea effectively.

This is a really hard thing for the more precise thinkers out there to wrap their minds around, and the thing that makes writing so darn difficult sometimes. We write and re-write ourselves into a tizzy in pursuit of the perfect end result. The thing is, dwelling on something for a longer period of time almost never makes for a better outcome. So try not to do that. Instead:

  • Focus on being clear and following a few basic writing rules (some of which you can read about here and here).
  • Write a draft, without worrying at all about how bad it is.  Save it, and walk away.
  • After a break working on, or doing, something else, revisit it and make your edits. 
  • If it’s something important (like new website copy or an info card you’re having printed), it’s never a bad idea to have another person take a look at it (that’s what you all did last week when you sent me your elevator pitches – well done!)
  • Do a final once-over – this is more a spelling, structure, punctuation check as much as anything. But still – a very important step.
  • Publish/send/post.

The thing is, you can almost always go back – to tinker, to re-work, to improve. I do this all the time with my own materials. This little safety net of knowledge is helpful – for me at least – in abandoning the pursuit of perfection.

To be honest, this is something I struggle with BIG TIME. I tend to write first drafts quickly, and even first edits. But I have a lot of difficulty declaring a project complete. So this advice comes from a true place – I have to remind myself of these tips OFTEN.

And that’s ok – just like writing, WRITERS don’t have to be perfect either 🙂

PS: Keep ’em coming! If you missed last week’s article, send through your elevator pitch this week. It’s a super easy little thing you can do for your business that will pay off BIG TIME.

PPS: Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If not, get on board! I send occasional updates full of useful tips and actionable advice to help you communicate more clearly and authentically about your small biz. As a thank you, I’ll send you my DIY guide for improving your web copy. Tips that you (yes, you!) can implement right now to make your site more readable, friendly, and effective.