I have a confession. I am a hopeless perfectionist.
When I got the inspiration to do a blog to book project this past spring, I started with all kinds of ideas of what I would include on the site. Interviews, reviews, original and curated content, videos, downloadable worksheets; you name it. I snatched up the domain name, reserved the Twitter ID, set up a Facebook page, and announced my intentions to the world. The reporter in me planned a podcast. The marketer in me had grandiose ideas of launching with a contest and a private membership area. The parent in me dreamed of adventurous experiments I could involve my kids in. The philanthropist in me geared up to form a nonprofit to give disadvantaged youth the opportunity to learn digital citizenship and internet safety. Yeah, buddy. Go big or go home.
I started following and making contact with folks knowledgeable on the topics of media and digital literacy, internet safety, and educational technology. I was hungry to learn from them, and anxious to start knocking down an avalanche of interviews. Then, I hit a wall. For the life of me, I could not figure out how to schedule interviews while working a full-time day job, looking after a home-based business, and taking care of family priorities. I intended for the interviews to comprise the bulk of my initial research and content, but I just got bogged down. I wanted everything to be perfect. Problem was, nothing was getting accomplished. So, I reset the launch date on the blog (more than once), and just continued to read and research, curate and share.
Weeks passed, and some difficult challenges on the home-front required me to focus my time, attention, and energy where it’s most important – my family. The blog project completely stalled out, and I went into social media hibernation while I determined whether or not I was going to continue. Honestly, I felt short-circuited, stressed, and bummed out.
Finally, I realized, this is just stupid. I’ve psyched myself out thinking that I had to create some sort of mega-treastise on all things digital media, and that just isn’t necessary. I had lost sight of why I wanted to do this project in the first place – to provide a resource for parents who need a little help navigating the changing landscape of media, so they could, in turn, help their kids. I just needed to get over myself and stop being such a perfectionist. Sheesh.
Then, disaster hit. As I was moving the blog from my local development environment to my internet hosting account, something got corrupted in the database structure, and I lost access to much of what I had done. I must have stared at my computer screen, my mouth hanging open in stunned silence, for a full cycle of the moon.
However, it’s amazing how non-fazed one can be by outward adversity when inward angst is made placid. I had already decided I didn’t have to have everything dialed in so completely anyway. After a few late nights (actually, 3 AM mornings), I was able to recover some of the skeletal structure and rebuilt with what I had.
So, here it is. Finally. The first post on MediaSword. It’s not much, but it’s a start. And start is what I should’ve done a long time ago, instead of trying to get so fancy-schmancy when I’ve got a life to live. And that’s the lesson here. Just start. Learn by doing. Experiment. Be adventurous. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be.