Defeating the fear

Note: this article was the first of a blog I started, but never really maintainted. Curiously, this has given it a radically different interpretation.

How can I improve at X? By making mistakes doing X. Seeking perfection can be a curse. I don’t want to fear failing anymore. So I will take each blog post as an opportunity to make mistakes. If everything goes well, the blog as a whole should end up being OK.

Fear hinders everything

And it starts here, as I am writing down my thoughts, knowing that you, a passerby from the Internet, will eventually read this. I would better make this post perfect, or a lot of bad things could happen, right? Well, not really. But still, I already know that writing this first post will take between 1 and 2 hours.

I spend too much time wandering, stopping at every title, sentence, sometimes word, to wonder if it is right. Often, I remember about some rule or advice I had read and start panicking because I have not applied it. What did it say again? Where can I find this information again? And here I am, searching the Internet for a good ten minutes. Capitalization of headings, style checking, structuring an article, etc.

Start simple, iterate from here.

Every task can seem daunting at first. Especially if you want to ace it on first try. For some, “better is the enemy of good”. For perfectionists, bad (which most of the time is actually fine) is just better than nothing. Heck, this is just a blog post. Just write down your main ideas, weave around it, it’s done!

Other honorable goals

So yeah, breaking the ice of perfection and the fear that accompanies it is my main motivation here. But there are others, of course:

  • Improving writing skills: This general skill, in turn, improves analytical skills, English skill (French is my mother tongue), and oral communication.

  • Digging subjects deeper: Because writing requires to research your subject thoroughly, you end up more knowledgeable about it.

  • Getting motivation: Communicating about what you do is an incentive to continue. And writing about something you accomplished is always rewarding.

  • Getting in a habit: Doing things, like writing a blog, makes it easier to involve in other activities. It’s basic maths. Doing N+1 things when you now how to do N feels easier the greater the N.

  • Keeping records: Be it techniques, tips, links to valuable resources, stories, or my own progress, my blog will always remember them, and so do I.

  • Alleviating my web page: Not that it is overloaded with content, but I want to keep it separate from blogging.

I would gladly have concluded with a list rules and best practices for me to follow, writing this blog. But they would have been additional barriers to my blogging, so I’d better not :)