On Writing Bottlenecks...and an Apology

Before we jump in -- I'm Monster.com's featured career expert for tonight's #MWChat on Twitter from 6-7ET. The topic is Bridging the Skills Gap in Today's Economy. Join us and thousands (!!) of others for tonight's chat if you can.  Perfectionism can be a crippling quality for a blogger.

I have so much to share with you that my brain is bursting! And yet, the posts all dance around in my head in incomplete form, never quite making it to the page because of a perfectionist bottleneck that I'm having trouble removing.

Our greatest strengths turn into weaknesses when over-used, and our perceived weaknesses often hint at underlying superpowers.

Perfectionist tendencies have helped me build a successful blog -- they ensure that only the very best content makes it to the virtual page, and hopefully my readers (you!) trust that when you visit or subscribe, you receive the absolute highest quality I'm capable of producing.

But perfectionism at its extreme is simply procrastination.

It's robbing the world of your voice and your ideas.

A friend and I were just talking about this -- it's funny how perfectionism rears its head particularly when contemplating a creative task.

As I said to him, "Writing is a reflection of the beauty of a person's soul. It's not the grammar that counts -- its the vulnerability, exploration, and courage it takes to express the inner workings of your mind/body/spirit."

His mission is to help others "see the perfection in imperfection" -- which is exactly what it takes to put your whole self out there in spite of any fears or misgivings.

When I asked for his permission to share some of these email gems with all of you, he replied with the following brilliant insight: "It's human nature to explore, experiment, fail and succeed. And it's our nature to understand and learn from these experiences. Courage is in expressing it. Showing it off." Amen.

Finally, as my brilliant friend Derek Shanahan once said to me, "People respect perfection, but they fall in love with imperfection."

A Peek Inside JBE HQ

Take a look at my to-do list, written on the flight home from a life-changing week in Austin for SXSW (click to enlarge):

JBE To Do List - March 16

As you can see, I have LOTS of ideas and ambitions for JBE. Email catch-up alone takes up one line, and that includes 100+ micro-tasks within it!

What I'm really trying to say is that I owe you an apology.

No matter how great my ideas and products are, if I don't share them clearly on the blog then the person that ends up getting the short end of the stick is you. You probably just think I'm monkeying around back here on all my various trips...which is only a little bit true :)

Jenny Blake - SXSW 2012 - First year at SXSW as JBE!!

I am going to do better for you.

My trip to Austin marked my one year anniversary of starting my sabbatical last year, after which I never did return to cube life.

After turning this enterprise into a business, I found that blogging took a back seat to other income-generating efforts. Similar to my to-do list above, I have a list of 20+ blog posts that I want to write but haven't created the time for. Bad Jenny!

Time to find my balance, bring on more help, get the right systems in place (must-read business book: E-Myth Revisited) turn the heat up and really take things to the next level!

Stay tuned on all of the above, and subscribe to my Inside Scoop newsletter if you want all the juicy details regarding what I'm thinking about behind-the-scenes.

In three words, what does a good writer do best?

Speaking of writing, Matt Gartland of Winning Edits put together an awesome graphic on writing advice -- I'm honored to be listed among some of my favorite authors!

Winning Edits - In three words, what does a good writer do best?