Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to deal with the urge to make your blog posts perfect

So originally this post was going to be my kanji disclaimer.

In fact, in response to my facebook launch party invitation, a few kind souls pointed out the mistakes in the Chinese character for "Zen" that I used as the cover image of my e-book and featured in last week's blog post.


Not-so-perfect Zen

I knew that image wasn't perfect. And I could have used stock imagery, or paid an expert to do it for me.

But I wanted this endeavor to be personal, messier, and to feel more expressive and artistic... So I did them myself. I had a friend write the characters out properly for me in my journal, and then I spent a few wonderful afternoons trying to capture the spirit of each symbol with ink, brush, and the thinnest of rice paper.

Now I knew my kanji characters were possibly cringe-producing-kindergarten-level efforts for a native speaker of Chinese, but I chose to accept that.

Could I have studied Chinese calligraphy for years to perfect my brush strokes and the alignment and form of each character? I suppose, but to what purpose? I might have looked more accomplished and the art would have been more polished, but it would have delayed my e-book and this blog launch by years.

And I felt (and feel) that I have so much to share about blogging that people could forgive the imperfections and go with the overall spirit and beauty of the big idea: Blogging can be Zen.

In the math equation in my mind, it was better to be imperfect.

Now I'm not saying to post stuff you haven't given thought to, or to tweet when angry, (as Social Media Guru Jenn Bailey famously says, "Trying to get something off the internet is like trying to get pee out of a swimming pool.") but the way I see it, we can get frozen into doing nothing because we're afraid of it not being perfect. And it's better to do something good than hold out forever to do one thing without flaws.

Many authors say that when they read their published books, they find things they would still change. At some point they had to let go and put their story out into the world.

Same with blogging.

Get some stuff out into the world.

It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect.

I know. Because I'm not.

And you know what? It's okay.


ps - my thanks to Julie Sullivan in particular for keeping it real, and whose critique inspired this post!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome to my New Blog on... Blogging!

Take a deep breath with me.


(hold it)


The idea behind blogging being "Zen" is that you don't have to panic.


Like this blog. My goal is for it to be Zen. And Fun. And really useful.

Here's the big idea: This is my new on-line home for sharing weekly inspiration and how-to tips about blogging with you.

Once a week, so no one gets overwhelmed.

Ideas about blogging to get you thinking.

Cool stuff about blogging and social media that I *have* to share.

Great links to get you exploring the blogosphere.

And encouragement to help you on the path to YOUR "Zen" of Blogging.

So take off your shoes, click around, and check it out as it unfolds...

Oh, and to celebrate the launch of this new blog, for the next 30 days there's a $5.00 discount for buying The Zen Of Blogging e-book.

Just use the discount code:


But this is no hard sell. Hang out. Talk blogging with me and each other. Watch me wear a different T-shirt in every video. It'll be fun. And very, very Zen.


Let's take one more deep breath.



Feel better? Yeah, me too.

Thanks for being here.


1 Minute to Blogging Greatness, Episode #1: The Top 3 Reasons Why Blogging Is Awesome For Authors

Well you might have guessed that I couldn't very well launch this blog without something substantive to get us started.

So here goes:

This is the first in what is going to be a series of video blogs (also called "vlogs.")

This video originally premiered over at Shelli Johannes's "Market My Words," a blog all about offering marketing advice to authors. Shelli is a marvelous marketer and her blog is a wonderful resource!