Yeah, I said it. Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.
Poorly. As in not perfectly. Not necessarily the best you can do.
I can see the insulting softlinks already.
The perfectionist— procrastinators among you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you? This saying is all about the "I’ve got to get it right" syndrome, a disorder in which our innate desire to do something correctly will, when taken to extremes, inevitably result in not doing anything at all.
A sort of “procrastinator’s paralysis,” if you will.
To combat this paralysis, to get something — anything — accomplished, we need a philosophy to jump start us. Something that tells us that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing. Period. Even if that means doing it poorly. Sounds simple enough, right?
Sure, it’s simple. At least until something comes up that we just can’t get right. Then we get stuck, the paralysis kicks in, and the whole house of cards just seems to come crashing down. If you're a writer — and since you're reading this, you probably are — you know exactly what I mean. Writers, as a group, are probably the most notorious victims of procrastinator’s paralysis this writer can think of.
Got a transition that’s not running smoothly? Having a hard time figuring out the right angle to introduce your new character, idea, plot twist, whatever? Maybe you can't even decide on a topic to write about at all. It doesn’t really matter where you start, though, because you always end up in the same place.
The tyranny of the blank page.
We get stuck. We spin our wheels. We chase our tails. We spend so much time and effort on the troublesome portion of our work that we ignore the rest. And so it doesn't get done. For myself, I can tell you that for every node of mine that eventually gets posted, there are two more that were abandoned in process, and ten more that were never even tried. That's why they tell us:
"Don't get it right. Just get it written."
Which is, after all, just the writer's version of “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly,” no?