Why I believe blogs are for rough drafts

As bloggers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to release perfect content. We stick to a certain schedule because someone else told us our blogs would never grow without it. We think that if we just keep pushing, surely it will pay off eventually, right?

Now, I’m not saying that it won’t pay off eventually. I’m coming up on my 5-year blogging anniversary in September (what?!), and there’s no way I would have stuck it out this long if I weren’t getting something out of it, both personally and professionally. I enjoy writing, and people tell me they enjoy reading it. Sometimes those same people show up in my sales notifications for ebooks or in my inbox with project inquiries. Yay, money! I truly believe I am where I am today because of the time I’ve put into creating quality content for my blog, and I know any other blogger who’s built an audience through quality content will tell you the same.

But I’m also where I am today because I published a lot of rough drafts along the way. Not everything I’ve published feels share-worthy. Not everything I’ve published resonated with my audience. In fact, most of my blog posts were cringe-worthy for at least a year. Here are a few reasons I encourage you to embrace a little imperfection in blogging and publish some more rough drafts.

Practice makes perfect.

Yup, that good old saying applies here. If you want to get better at something, you have to actually do the work. Sure, you can practice writing blog posts that never get published, but then you’re creating in a bubble. You don’t have a chance to see how your readers might respond and how you can improve in the future. Plus, why would you spend time writing if you never give people the chance to read it?

A blog post is a great first step.

This concept has driven my blog since day one. I wanted to decorate my apartment, so I posted inspiration and shopping picks. I wanted to better understand my personal style, so I started documenting things I liked on my blog. I wanted to write an ebook, so I broke the chapters down into blog post ideas. Blog posts are a great way to keep taking that next step until you’ve reached your goal.

Blogging gives you accountability.

This is another concept that has driven my blog since day one. If I put it out there for the Internet to see, I have to follow through, right? Last year, before I released my first ecourse, I blogged about it along the way to keep myself accountable. And if you’ve been following along lately, you may have noticed me mention that I’m updating and releasing the course again soon. If I never mentioned it on my blog, I’d never get it done. If no one knows about it, what does it matter if I quit? But since I have been mentioning it here and there, just when I think I’m never going to get it done and am ready to quit, someone will mention in an email that they’re really excited about my course and it’s just what they need — which gives me that boost to keep going.

Someone needs to hear what you have to say.

Possibly the biggest struggle I think we face as bloggers is our own self-doubt. We hold ourselves to impossibly high standards. If it’s not “good enough,” we’re not going to publish it. But you know what? Even if it’s not perfect, someone out there still needs to read it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written something that I feel pretty whatever about, and someone writes back to tell me it’s just what they needed to read today. The beauty of the Internet is that there’s plenty out there to read, and anyone who isn’t excited about your work today will quickly find something else to read and forget about it. But that person who really needed to read it today will remember you for it, and just may turn into a bigger fan because of it.

So the next time you are down on yourself because you’re in a funk with your blog, or you don’t want to publish something because it’s not “good enough,” I hope you’ll push through and post anyway. You’ll be grateful you did later on. How do you push past the need for perfection?

Leave a Comment

14 Comments

  1. Kaitlin wrote:

    I needed this today! It’s so easy to get in a funk – hoping this advice will help me restart my mojo.

    Posted 8.6.15 Reply
    • Happy to hear it, hope you got your mojo back!

      Posted 8.21.15 Reply
  2. Tyece wrote:

    Glad I stumbled upon your site and congrats on coming up on FIVE years of blogging. Amazing. This is a good read and I can certainly relate. I’ve revisited some of my older posts and they absolutely make me cringe, but I also know I would not be the writer and blogger I am now without those rough drafts. It’s all an evolution.

    Posted 8.6.15 Reply
    • Thanks so much for stopping by and for the congrats! Yes, blogging is definitely an evolution — like anything else in life, really!

      Posted 8.21.15 Reply
  3. Barbara Brownlee wrote:

    I really *did* need to hear this today. I keep saying to myself that I need to get my blog going and then nothing ever comes of it. Thanks for the motivation! Once more unto the breach 😉

    Posted 8.9.15 Reply
  4. Alice wrote:

    Perfection is hard to achieve. And it’s not only the case of blogging, but also businesses struggle to achieve perfection, yet only a few can stand quality as competitive advantage. So we should always be hunting for perfection.

    Posted 8.11.15 Reply
  5. Thanks! I needed this. I am new to blogging and I spend more time rethinking and overthinking about what to post than I do actually posting. I have tone of ideas but like most of us I’m always second guessing myself. Great encouragement to for us fellow bloggers.

    Posted 9.14.15 Reply
  6. iHanna wrote:

    Interesting idea, I don’t think I’ve heard told like this before. But I agree, there is a lot of good that comes out of blogging!

    Posted 10.27.15 Reply
  7. Courtney wrote:

    this post was so lovely, exactly what i needed to hear! i spend far too much time reading and rereading my posts wondering if the writing/photography is good enough, whether the world needs another recipe for _______, etc. I think we are our own worst critics and we need to learn to not be so hard on ourselves, it’s a learning process after all!

    Posted 12.7.15 Reply
  8. Kitty wrote:

    Thanks! I Required this. I am new to blogging and I use more time rethinking and more judgment about what to post than I do really posting.

    Posted 3.8.16 Reply
  9. Laura wrote:

    Hello there! I love this post! I was actually curious on how you created the graphics on your picture “Why I Believe blogs are for rough drafts” I love the box, but I’m not sure how to replicate that kind of style. Is there a certain program you used? I would love to hear back from you!

    Posted 3.10.16 Reply
    • Hi Laura! Thanks so much! I use Photoshop for my blog graphics, with the line tool for drawing the box.

      Posted 3.11.16 Reply