by Sarah & Kevin Arrow

Why Focusing Too Much on Quality Can Stifle Your Writing and Content Creation

  • Home
  • -
  • Blog
  • -
  • Why Focusing Too Much on Quality Can Stifle Your Writing and Content Creation

Writing more and better content is essential, but an overemphasis on quality is a trap. A lethal trap that might be impossible to escape from. This strong opinion might seem counterintuitive, but it's grounded in a simple truth.

Many writers and content creators struggle with producing enough material. The root cause? An excessive focus on quality. This obsession leads to two major problems: procrastination and a reluctance to experiment with different styles.

Procrastination: The Enemy of Productivity

The pursuit of perfection often becomes a roadblock to progress. Writers frequently find themselves waiting for that perfect moment, the ultimate idea, or the most eloquent phrase. Yet, this waiting can stretch indefinitely. In reality, writing, much like any skill, evolves through consistent practice rather than endless contemplation.

As the person who put the fan into fanatic when it comes to Steven Pressfield, his works have not only inspired the perfect name for the best dog ever, Xanthe, but also ingrained in me a profound realisation: I am solely responsible for slaying the resistance dragon daily.

Each day presents a challenge to face this dragon, a battle I must engage in relentlessly, with the resolve to overcome or perish in the attempt. There is no outsourcing when it comes to resistance.

And yes, the above sections refer to 3 different books of his. This is a reminder for me to write that blog post about being too clever for your own good when it comes to content isn't a good thing…

Restricting Experimentation with Styles

When writers fixate solely on maintaining high quality, they often shy away from venturing into new territories of style and genre. This stringent approach can stifle creativity, which truly thrives in an environment of exploration and the occasional misstep. For instance, a blogger accustomed to writing only serious, long-form articles might never discover their knack for witty, short-form social media posts if they don't loosen their grip on stringent quality norms.

Similarly, a fiction writer who always sticks to romance genres may never unearth their potential in mystery or sci-fi if they don’t dare to experiment. By allowing yourself the freedom to test different waters—be it switching from formal to conversational tones, or trying out satirical writing instead of sticking to straightforward narratives—you open doors to potentially more captivating and diverse content.

This exploration can not only enhance your skills but also surprise and delight your audience with content they didn't expect but find incredibly engaging.

The Gap Between Taste and Skill

You know what good writing tastes like; you devour books by Hemingway and Austen, and your blog feed is a smorgasbord of literary delights. But when you sit down to write, your words feel more like a reheated microwave meal than a gourmet feast.

This gap is like wanting to paint like Van Gogh but your hands can only manage stick figures. Or aspiring to be the next Beyoncé while your shower performances suggest otherwise. It’s a comical yet agonising reality where your brain is a five-star chef, but your hands are still figuring out how to boil water.

Let’s face it, in the early stages of writing, our standards can be sky-high – we aim for Shakespeare but end up sounding like his less-talented cousin, Dave Shakespear (who was doomed to say “no, that's my cousin. I'm no e” a million times a day), who never quite got the hang of iambic pentameter. It’s a bit like trying to leap over a canyon – you’re on one side (enthusiastic but unpolished), and your aspirations are on the other (dazzlingly unreachable).

What's neglected or never mentioned is that even the greatest writers started with a gap. Imagine if J.K. Rowling had looked at her first draft of Harry Potter and thought, “Nah, this wizard kid’s going nowhere.” Or if Tolkien had given up on Middle-earth because his first orc looked more like a grumpy garden gnome.

The learning curve in writing is real, and frustration is part of the package – like buying furniture from IKEA and realising halfway through that you’ve got leftover screws. The trick is to laugh at the absurdity of this gap, embrace the process, and keep writing. One day, you’ll find your words creating the kind of magic that once seemed as far-fetched as a unicorn riding a unicycle.

Accepting Failure as Part of Learning

Failure isn't just inevitable; it's necessary.

Every failed attempt or poorly received piece is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Accepting failure as a part of the journey is crucial for long-term improvement and success in writing.

  • Embrace the Bumps in the Road: Remember, failure isn't a dead end; it's more like a speed bump on the road to success. Each stumble brings you closer to your destination.
  • No Masterpiece Without Missteps: Think of every great writer you know. Not a single one got there without a few ‘not-so-masterpieces' under their belt. Your failed attempts are just your stories in the making.
  • A Lesson in Every Letdown: Behind every poorly received piece is a hidden lesson waiting to be uncovered. Find it, learn it, and use it to fuel your next great work.
  • The Beauty of ‘Oops': Every time something doesn't go as planned, you get a free lesson in what not to do next time. Cherish these ‘oops' moments – they're invaluable.
  • Failures are Milestones: Start seeing each failure as a milestone on your journey. Celebrate them as signs of progress and proof that you're pushing boundaries.
  • Your Personal Blooper Reel: Imagine your writing journey as a movie with its own blooper reel. Those bloopers aren't just for laughs; they're critical scenes in your story of growth.
  • The Paradox of Perfection: In a twist of irony, the more you fail, the closer you get to perfection. Each failure carves out a piece of the writer you're becoming.
  • Rejections are Redirections: Every rejection letter, every critique, is not a stop sign but a redirection towards something better, something more suited to you and  your  voice.

Starting Small and Using Audience Feedback

Begin with small, manageable pieces of content. Use audience feedback to guide your growth and development. This approach allows for gradual improvement and adaptability, making your writing more relevant and engaging over time.

Remember, while maintaining a standard of quality is important, overemphasising it can hinder your growth as a writer or content creator. Embrace imperfection, experiment freely, learn from failures, and let your audience be your guide. This way, you'll not only produce more content but also see a marked improvement in its quality over time.

About the author, Sarah & Kevin Arrow

administrator

Sarah and Kevin Arrow have been in the thick of the online marketing world since 2006, and they're buzzing to share their know-how right here with you! If you're keen to get noticed, they're the experts you'll want to talk to. Why not schedule a call or send them a quick message? They're all ears and can't wait to hear from you!

Follow Me Here

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>
Skip to content