Jan 17, 2019
Photo Courtesy: LadyDayDream/Flickr

How good is good enough?

I began blogging just before I turned 18. Now, I’m 21 and between majoring in journalism, writing for a newspaper, writing for leisure and pursuing screenwriting – I have written a lot. I’ve been told that I am a strong writer. But for some reason, I don’t always wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.

Last night – or perhaps, this morning – I finished a blog post for The Collegian. I reread my work around 1 a.m. I really liked what I had written. But for some reason, I decided that there was no way it could be published. For the second time this week, I felt the need to start over on my blog post.

This happens to me quite a bit. Sometimes, I write more than one piece of writing to produce one piece of writing. The number of pieces I write until I have a finished product can be two, or seven, or an endless cycle of rewriting until I realize that I’ll never produce something that I’m satisfied with.

On multiple occasions I have chosen to give up on a piece of writing that is, well, good – but not good enough. So, how good is good enough? Perhaps only perfection is good enough for me. Sometimes I wonder if this constant feeling of inadequacy is healthy or not.

You might want to tell me that no, it’s not healthy. But do I want to be mediocre? When I write opinionated pieces, I’m not looking to tell you things that you already know. I don’t want to present the same perspective as everyone else, either. And of course, I don’t want you to view my writing as a waste of time.

I think the previous paragraph describes most of the content I’ve read on the publication The Odyssey. Truly, I don’t think I’ve ever been impressed by a column from that website. But sometimes, I’m jealous of those who produce such sub par writing. They write those columns and submit them to a website, meaning they felt confident enough to willingly let others read them online. And here I am, rewriting and rewriting and rewriting until I feel that what I’ve created is perfect. Are people who think highly of their average columns more content than I am? That must be a nice feeling.

Giving up on perfection and opting to instead be average can be tempting. I’m sure it’s easier. I know that even if I truly wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to give up on my pursuit to be a perfect writer. A desire to be exceptional is rooted in me. It’s not easy to get rid of something that strong. But at the same time, 1 a.m. is a tough time to be awake.

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