Sometimes I look at my blog, with its high percentage of itty bitty or goofy posts, and I'm sad. I compare it with other people's blogs, with their long and reliably high quality posts at dignified intervals, and I think that I really should make the effort to do this thing right.
Then I get over it and post a cat picture.
I realized today that my blog, with its erratic shifts in quality, is entirely consistent with one of my most firmly held philosophies. It's a philosophy that can be expressed many different ways. "Good enough is good enough." "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly." But it all comes down to: Perfectionism Is Bad.
Now, to be clear, I'm not saying that those people with the reliably high quality blogs are perfectionists. They're simply not me. They're capable of consistently producing creative work at a high level of quality. If they're also producing lower quality work, they're doing so behind the scenes, and they're accurately distinguishing the good from the bad before their stuff goes public.
And that's not me. I can produce and post lots of "good enough" stuff, with an occasional moderately fine thing in there. I cannot post only
"moderately fine", because if I required that of myself, I'd post nothing at all. And I'm firmly convinced that it's better to do something mediocre, then to wait for perfection.
And "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly" isn't just about blogging. I know a perfectionist, and I've seen the way that that perfectionism deprives her of much of the joy of a normal life. The determination to only read, or watch, or hear, what's "uplifting" or "educational" means cutting herself off from most of popular culture, and as a result losing many opportunities to connect with other people. The refusal to take on new pursuits without a guarantee of perfect execution means that she simply doesn't take them on, and in fact she drops old pursuits, I suspect out of fear that perfection can't be maintained. As the requirement for perfection grows stronger and stronger, the world grows smaller and smaller.
An active, joyful, wholehearted mediocrity is a very fine thing. So I'm going to keep posting cat pictures. And maybe I'll branch out into puppies and ducks.
Image: By RM. Wikimedia Commons.