Quick and Dirty: The Cost of Quantity

Life is full of trade-offs. So is art.

Last week I was reminded of a choice I’ve made. When it comes to this blog, I’ve chosen quantity over quality.

Don’t get me wrong. The heart of every post, I believe, has real value. I’m saying what I intend to say and usually saying it well. I am proud of this living document. Just don’t read too closely.

Last week two of you contacted me about errors in my copy. Typos and spelling mistakes. That’s a little embarrassing. Knowing that I’ve let errors run wild in the world. But I’ll tell you a little secret. I don’t care that much.

I don’t care that much because of my goals. I want to write something and put it out into the world (nearly) every day. I want to do that because it is making me a better writer. It is sanding off my edges. It is making me pay attention to my outer and inner worlds, to make sure I have something to bring you every week.

I don’t care that much because, unbeknownst to you, you are part of my experiment. I want to put a lot of writing out into the world and see what sticks. 

I was talking with poet Stephen Berg last week and he described his blog as an experiment. Poems that make it to his blog are certainly polished to an extent, but not necessarily ready for the page. Stephen sees a difference there. So do I.

So does author Seth Godin, I think. I heard Godin on a podcast about a month ago. He encouraged everyone to write a blog every day, and put it out into the world. That last bit is important. This is not a diary. Not a journal entry. This is writing shared publicly. There is accountability here. Accountability for me to keep thinking, growing and searching for things of value to share. Not perfect things, but valuable things. Godin has this down to a science, with bite size morsels, distilling a single thought each day. I’m not there yet.

I’m writing quick and dirty within the confines of the time my day allows. That is how I started writing nearly every day without altering my schedule much. I became OK with imperfection. I do edit, but I know I’m not great at it. I will make mistakes. Omissions. I will look foolish sometimes. I just told myself I was going to write anyways. 

I am fine with this trade off. Falling more often. Getting up faster each time.

I hope you are enjoying my imperfect offerings.

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