The Battle of Quantity vs. Quality
I’ve been thinking about writing a new blog post each day.
I don’t know when I’d start, or how long the endeavor might last. But it could be a helpful creative pursuit. It might force me to loosen up and stop second-guessing every word.
That’s what I hope, anyway.
I’ve been watching Casey Neistat videos over my lunch break. And sometimes videos about his videos. Let’s just say it’s like Casey Neistat inception hour from about twelve o’clock to one in my office.
My husband doesn’t get it. I don’t quite get it, either. I’m a mom who works in advertising; Neistat’s a former reality TV star with weird glasses and a social media startup.
He tells a good story. I like that about the guy. I like that he shares authentic snapshots of his daily life.
“When I first started doing daily [vlogs],” he said in a recent video, “the underlying premise was that if I constantly, every day make something new, it will keep me thinking; keep the brain going. … Making videos every day is this sense of purpose. It’s what I do. It defines me.”
I find that refreshing. I feel the same sense of purpose about writing. But lately I’ve been stuck between two competing ideologies:
- Perfectionism is not productive.
- I shouldn’t publish anything less than my best.
I waste a lot of energy pinballing between the two; energy that could be better spent telling my own stories.
Neistat, in one of his first daily vlogs, said he considered the quality of his daily output a C+ at best. But he was determined to do daily vlogs anyway, because he wanted to share authentic snapshots of his daily life. Even if it meant not putting the polish on things like he’d prefer.
Isn’t there an authenticity to be gained by NOT putting the polish on things? Isn’t there quality to be gained through sheer quantity, through the daily practice of showing up and sharing yourself with the world?
Maybe I'll find out.