If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly

Stay with me...

Many people have heard phrases like "Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good", "Done is better than perfect" and similar. Those phrases are about not letting perfectionism hold you back from getting useful things done. Good enough often isn't perfect.

"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly" is something I heard from my brother, and he heard it from someone quite depressed. I think it originally came from a philosopher named G. K. Chesterton.

It's about just doing a little if that's all you are able to do. I think it's powerful. Perfection is not the only thing that holds people back.

On writing

My writing is pretty far from perfect. And I held myself back from writing for a long time - I do have a perfectionistic streak, a lazy streak, a despondent streak... There are many parts of me that are quite against this.

There is a lot of discomfort to this, it feels risky to put one's thoughts on open display. There are all sorts of fears around judgement, and a permanent record of flaws and mistakes. This takes effort, it builds expectations in others and those expectations become a kind of contract. Looking at your own thought processes and finding a narrative that seems worth writing down is hard. False starts on articles that seemed like great ideas feel like defeat. It takes time, time and attention, both precious and fleeting. My writing skills are not where I want them to be...

But writing is powerful. There are many reasons to do it, and many reasons to do it publicly.


I have a bit of a strategy on how I approach writing. I think it's worth sharing because I think it's quite clever. I can't remember for the life of me where I learned it from. It's definitely not my idea.

The idea is that it's useful to embrace imperfection. To just get things out. To build a collection of ideas that have been processed and refined and articulated in a way that is merely "good enough"."

This is not to say I'll be ok with releasing unedited brain dumps or anything like that. My goal is to do things that are interesting and that add value. I will always try to do good work. I just know that I wont always get it right, and I have the explicit intention to forgive myself for my insufficiencies.

I will write imperfectly. As ideas get developed, as connections are made, as knowledge and experience are gained, ideas from earlier articles can be revisited, refined and combined in new ways.

The plan is to iterate on things and build a collection of writings that doesn't just get bigger over time, that doesn't simply contain more stuff. But that contains better stuff.

It'll be a journey.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to my newsletter. This will be a monthly digest of my latest articles and some other news and goodies.

Did you find this useful? Do you have something to say?

Feedback makes my heart go boom, and I would love to hear from you if you want to talk about this!

Hit me up on the socials :)