Have you been wanted to publish something freaking epic? That makes people stop in their tracks and changes the world? Guess what? You can, but it can’t be the only thing you make. The world of One-Hit-Wonders is no longer a thing.
I saw a post recently about a ceramics teacher who started off the course by giving the group a choice: To be marked on one perfect piece, or on pure quantity alone. The results? The “quantity” group had the highest quality pieces. This is because they had been doing the work, refining their process and learning more about their craft. Whereas the “quality” group had spent most of their time theorising rather than practising creating ceramics.
So how do we get over perfectionism and start hitting that publish button?
Here’s my top tips:
1. Quantity over Quality
Just like the ceramic students, your work will only become good if you started producing more of it. You will learn along the way and you will have a lot more work to show for it. As a Creative the worst thing you can do is to create the whole thing in your head and then try to perfect it there. If you want to be able to actually create things you need to interrupt that process and take an action. My suggestion for you is to write down the bare bones of what is required for your projects. Then you will be able to refer to that framework and revisit the energy of them, without expending energy in the process. When you create in this way, the pressure of getting it perfect before you publish will cease and your the quality of your work will increase along the way.
2. Create then Edit
We are all guilty of trying to write and edit at the same time, but if we get out of the place of “everything has to be perfect from the beginning” then we will start to create a lot faster. When you let yourself write something imperfect or just get something (anything!) out onto the page, then you spend less time and effort actually creating the content. Trust me, it’s a lot more practical to get messy with it and let everything you want to say spill out onto the page unfiltered, and then refine it.
3. Trick yourself into getting “in the mood”
Most times we won’t actually create anything unless we are “in the mood” (and those times are often sparse and fleeting). Don’t wait for inspiration to hit, do the work. Schedule time each day to take some action! And if you need to trick yourself into getting into the mood, create some momentum by copying a paragraph from a book, or searching for random writing prompts online and writing a terrible response. Getting started is the hardest part, but once you do it you will start to get “in the mood” more easily.
4. Don’t judge your first draft to someone else’s proofed manuscript
This is when comparison will start to kill your projects. It’s dangerous because you never truly have the full picture (most published works have been through a hefty review process). It’s our judgment that we think that we should be doing better than we are that is actually getting in the way of us creating something truly epic. So say goodbye to judgment as you kick it out the door, and use those manuscripts as an inspiration rather than a target that you have to hit on your first go.
5. Stop making it about you
It’s time to be frank… are you ready? It’s time to get over yourself. Your work wants to be out in the world, and there are people who are ready to hear it. So ask yourself this: “If this wasn’t about me, would I have hit publish already?” Remember who you’re doing this for because I’m willing to bet it’s not to stroke your ego.
Overcoming perfectionism and hitting publish comes down to doing the work, refining your process as you go, and learning more about your craft as you create. Don’t let fear, judgment or even yourself stand in the way of your creations being out in the world.
So get yourself into the mood and go create something (and remember to hit publish)!
Need some more support to overcome your fear of publishing? Get on the waitlist now for my membership program, the Kickass Creative, to hear when it reopens next: www.rebeccahulse.com/kickass.