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Replacing perfectionism with incrementalism

For the longest time, I was embarrassed to show my writing to people. It wasn't perfect, or it wasn't transcendent. It was good, not great -- and despite the fact I was getting published and paid (a pittance), I wasn't marketing the work or talking about it.

A turn of phrase was stilted, or the musician wasn't popular enough -- excuses after excuse after excuse. I was terrified of the work not being perfect enough. I'd work on things and keep it secret, almost embarrassed by the hard thankless work of talking to new and emerging Canadian artists.

As I became more comfortable in web development, I started getting more excited to show my work. As a baby dev at the CBC news interactives team, I was stoked to show how I integrated the flightaware API for a flight tracker visualizaitons. At JUICE, I'd roll my own user testing by walking around with interactive games, facilitating feedback and showing off the cool, cutting-edge interactive advertising we were building.

After learning more about agile development methodologies, I've become obsessed with the demo. Demos are one of the most vital and exciting rituals you can do -- it's an amazing way to celebrate what you and your colleagues are doing, taking joy in their successes and supporting them when they failed.

Replacing perfectionism with incrementalism is hard. It means being okay with sloppiness in the short-term -- that it's better to make something 2 per cent better today than taking a couple weeks longer to make it amorphously "better" (whatever that means).

Until very recently, my perfectionistic impulse stopped me from writing again. I needed to make my personal site really awesome. I needed to have something to write about! Excuse after excuse after excuse.

Shipped is better than perfect. I've built a nice little continuous integration/continuous delivery machine for myself - it's effortless to write content, effortless to tweak and experiment with the design and funcitonality of the site.

So, I'm using my personal website as a platform to experiment with all the cool web-tech I've always wanted to play with. To get back into the swing of writing and expand my palette.