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  • Writer's pictureJen Haken

Being Imperfect

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

Are you a perfectionist? If so, how much time do you waste trying to be perfect? And what has this to do with copywriting, I hear you ask? Patience … I’ll get to that later!

Being a perfectionist is not always a good thing. There are two problems with wanting things to be perfect:

  1. Trying to achieve perfection takes far too long and wastes too much time

  2. It’s almost impossible to measure what it is

What is perfection anyway? How can you tell when a piece of art or music is perfect? The answer is, you can’t. Perfection in the arts is impossible as it’s so subjective. Same goes for writing literature.

Even in maths and the sciences, which tend to rely on specific results, perfection can be questionable. Look at all the unknown elements in various scientific fields, and the unquantifiable aspects within finance.

Practically perfect

In our everyday lives, there are times when not being perfect is good enough. Necessary, even. To reduce stress and anxiety that's so prevalent in our lives these days, I believe it’s essential to not be a perfectionist.

In business, there are ways to cut corners and save time in certain processes, as long as the end result is the same. We want accuracy and customer satisfaction, naturally, but done in the most time-saving ways.

There are many things in life that we shouldn’t waste time, energy and angst on, in my opinion:

  • Marketing. You can't get away from the fact that, as a business owner, you have to do it. But does it have to be perfect? No! It takes time and effort to maintain a consistently good marketing presence. But it doesn't have to be absolutely to the book perfect. Or ask someone else to do it for you!

  • Appearance. You don't have to look perfect, just neat and tidy. And even then, who really cares? You need to feel comfortable to perform well. Maybe put some effort in for an important meeting. Many women – me included – feel that a bit of makeup helps us to look and feel better. And that's fine, but there's no need to spend hours on making ourselves look 'perfect'.

  • Ironing. I mean, who needs perfectly pressed pants? Or wrinkle-free sheets? Yes, they may be nice when you first slide into them, but is that small moment of pleasure really worth the time and effort of ironing your sheets? I think not!

Being perfect is unattainable. It's far better to be authentic, genuine and compassionate. You can still be successful without being perfect.

When you do need to achieve perfection

In my opinion, engineering is one area where having perfect results is essential. After all, we want our buildings and bridges, cars and airplanes, to be one hundred percent safe. So if you’re an engineer with perfectionism tendencies, carry on, my friend. Carry on!

There are bound to be other areas where perfectionism is needed. For me, it’s writing. Especially when I’m writing for clients. Then I will painstakingly ensure that what I’m writing for you is done exceptionally well, including the grammar and punctuation.

In fact, it pains me – almost literally – when I see mistakes in the written word, whether online or published elsewhere. Not that I’m saying I’m infallible; I’m not perfect and I’m fine with that.

Some people struggle with writing, and that’s okay. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. If you’re one of them, don’t beat yourself up about it! Accept it, just as I’ve had to accept that I can't put a shelf up, or cook a steak properly. And maths totally eludes me! We’re all different, so let’s embrace our differences, work to our strengths, and help each other out where we can.

Vive la différence!

So if you'd like to ensure that your writing is practically perfect, I can help. From marketing and PR to communications, digital or traditional, editing or proofreading, I'm here for you. Whenever you need perfect copy, give me a shout. Better still, get in touch today to discuss your future requirements.

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