Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A resolution

I realised something today. I realised I'm too much of a blogging perfectionist, and I'm allowing that to spoil my blogging pleasure.

I take a fair bit of pride in my writing - it's something that on a good day, when the planets align correctly and I put a lot of work into it, I can actually do pretty well. This was a large part of the reason why I started a blog. But, of course, once I'd started it, the pressure was on. If I'm writing for public consumption, I ought to get it Right. That means interesting, well-written posts only.

Unfortunately, I've realised that it's come to mean a degree of perfectionism that just isn't fun any more. Not only do I not make posts about the minutiae of my life because they don't seem interesting to anyone who doesn't happen to be me, I don't even blog about deeper topics because there's so much work involved in writing and rewriting to get them to be the perfect incisive critiques I want. I've stopped the kind of writing I used to do in my journal before I got this blog, the general rambles where I just wrote down whatever was happening in my life without caring all that much about how good the writing was. Any thoughts of doing that are submerged instantly in the mental image of people shaking their heads and tutting "Well, for a minute there I actually thought she was interesting and worth reading. Boy, was I ever wrong! Oh, well, one to cut from the blogroll."

And I've realised I'm losing something enjoyable here. Not even just the writing, but the reading it back a month or a year later to remember what I was up to at the time and chuckle or nod over it. All that's been sacrificed on the altar of perfectionism. I'm letting the best be the enemy of the good, or of the (heaven forfend) OK.

Which is ironic, really, given the title of this blog. I'm fine on the whole concept of good-enough mothering. I resist with most of the fibres of my being any notion that I should be perfectionist as a mother. Now it looks as though I need to concentrate on the concept of good-enough writing.

So, in future, I'm going to make a real effort just to write stuff down that I want to write down. If I really feel it's too boring (or too personal) to inflict on the on-line world, then I'll put it in my journal. But maybe I'll make more of an effort to put the mundane day-to-day stuff on here as well. If anyone doesn't like it - well, I might have to stop holding the gun to their head to make them read it. I guess they'll deal with that.

In honour of this resolution, I shall report that this evening we tried Jamie with some of our rice at dinnertime, and let him have a go with a spoon. (He figured out how to feed himself finger foods when he was eight months old, so finger foods have been what he's eaten from that point on. We're all about the low-intensity parenting here.) He actually did surprisingly well at getting the spoon into his mouth and getting food off it. What he couldn't figure out was the refilling bit of the procedure, and despite repeated attempts to demonstrate him, he just kept sucking on the empty spoon in an attempt to get the last molecules of flavour out of it. Until he got frustrated and started banging the plate on the high-chair tray and yelling.

All of which may not be of general interest, but was nevertheless exceedingly cute and impressive.


At October 27, 2005 7:20 AM, Blogger Trista said...

Oh well, another one to cut...

Just kidding.

Love the thought of your son trying to dissolve the spoon. Love the thought that you might post more frequently!

And, coming from someone who takes her writing very seriously, though at times I positively cringe when I see typos or poor grammar or missing words or jokes that fall completely flat or things that no one else besides me will ever understand, I still think it's better actually to be writing than to be not writing because I'm obsessing about what people will think about the writing. Though I do obsess, I do, I do, I'm just getting better/faster at the multitask of obsessing while writing without adding the delete function to the mix.

At November 06, 2005 9:37 PM, Blogger Jody said...

Around July, I came to the same realization about my own writing. I haven't been able to overcome the audience anxiety of the blog, so I've been writing a LOT MORE in my journal.

Can't wait to hear more about your move-in. We bought our first house from a guy who had similar ideas about home construction -- he hid holes in the wall behind wallpaper (unpatched holes, we're talking here), sprayed ceiling popcorn on kitchen walls rather than fix cracks in the plaster (bumpy kitchen walls, right by the grease-emitting stovetop), etc. What a nightmare.

We do say drywall in the States, by the way.

Thanks for visiting my blog!


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