I Kan Spel Gud. A Story About Blogging, Life & Living.

Quick to criticize and late to praise.  I received my first negative blog comment in 2008 from someone who commented about about my poor spelling and lack of editing.  They urged me to quit blogging altogether because I was unprofessional and lacked attention to detail.  I was mortified.  It was the first negative blog comment I had ever received.  My initial reaction was to delete the comment or keep from publishing altogether.  I pondered quickly editing my blog post, deleting the comment, and effectively sweeping my imperfection under the rug.  I choose instead to post the comment; a decision today I’m very grateful for.  In the days after the negative comment published, my community visited my blog post and came to my aid.  The spelling police commenter had made two grammatical and spelling errors of his own in his 300 character comment.  This detail was one that I had missed.  It was then I first realized the power of the online community.

I had been vindicated.

I Kan Spel Gud. A Story About Blogging, Life & Living.

The most commonly mis-spelled words on the Internet are words and topics I have never considered blogging about.  The top three (in case you are wondering) are Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and pay-per-view.

I believe in the presenting yourself in the best possible manner.  I talk about the importance of job seeker branding and personal marketing, but perfection is over-rated.  So forgive me if I make mistakes.  It’s part of who I am, and if I’m okay with that so I hope you are too.

In 2004, I left a physically and emotionally abusive marriage.  My now ex was a recovering alcoholic for whom I made excuses for.  I supported him as his personal punching bag and sugar momma.  My career was on the fast track.  And yet for nearly 7 years, I played it safe trying to fix a relationship that was dysfunctional and  broken.   When I walked away I promised myself I would never do it again.  I spent 7 years playing it safe instead of living my life.  Editing the draft of my life instead of pushing play and moving forward.  And it will never happen again.

I will never apologize for publishing a post too soon.  My blog like myself is a constant work in progress.  I’m willing to take that chance.  If publishing a post means a mis-spelled word, a grammatical mis-step, or a run in with the homophone police, I’ll take my chances.

A blog is a metaphor for life. Because life is about risk.  Don’t spend your life waiting, editing, or on hold.  I’m okay with a level of imperfection.  It’s what makes me, me.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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Comments

  1. I’ve only been really taken to task a few times on my blog, mainly by the Mid Century Modern Architecture police, but they have been learning experiences that I’ve learned from. I’ve been gently corrected a bunch of times about various items which I really appreciated. However, I agree with you that perfection is overrates. It’s best to learn from your mistakes and push ahead.

    Great post.

    • Yogi,

      Thank you for the comment. Don’t get me wrong editing is important but I think people think through things too much. I do go back and edit posts if I see a grammar or spelling error but a sentence that isn’t structured appropriate doesn’t make me a horrible person. It makes me human.

      JMM

  2. I really love this post, Jessica. At times I have second thoughts about a blog post that I have written and think I could have done it better or waited till I had a stronger idea. But you’re right that it doesn’t have to be perfect and it reflects a piece of us.

    Good for you on posting that comment and opening yourself to criticism – I would also have been tempted not to approve and to scurry round making all the amendments. How much more powerful it was though doing it your way.

    Thank you – this post really resonated with me. I’m also in awe of your personal history and full of admiration of how you have coped with the experiences that you have been through – very inspiring.

    All the best
    Alison

    • Thanks Alison,

      Organizations are feeling the same way. They are worried about opening up the flood gates and allowing comments when we all know that these companies aren’t perfect. In most cases, it’s okay for them to not be perfect. I admire them for learning about their customer or client and taking action. This is where the real learning occurs.

      JMM

  3. I teach writing. I write legal briefs for a living. Even after editing, proof-reading and scrutiny by multiple brains and eyes, there is always a typo that seems glaring later.

    It is important to spell check and proof-read–not because it looks good, but because it makes it easier to read and communicate your meaning. But trying for perfection is never worth the time.

    I spent a lot of years trying to be perfect. It was always based on someone else’s idea of what was good and right. Trying to figure that out required both speculation and telepathy. So I quit failing at the impossible and started letting go. I also got some great advice along the way: “What other people think of you is none of your business.”

    Nice post!

  4. Absolutely loved this post and well done on keeping that comment in – I so admire you for doing this. Keep on blogging – you are an inspiration to all..and a lesson to those of us in the grammar police (will think twice next time I see a spelling/grammar mistake online!) and those of us who strive too hard for a perfection we can never reach.

  5. Great post today. Good for you for leaving the comment; that’s the sort of blogger maturity I aspire to.

    The worst for me is when I go back later (maybe months or years) and see how poorly I’ve written something. That is embarrassing. Actually, I take that back. More embarrassing is when my daughter makes spelling or grammatical errors on her blog. I homeschooled her and I know that all my old homeschool cronies who read her blog are thinking, “What a crappy teacher this poor child had.”

    Blogging, to me, is more like a conversation than strict publishing. If you and I were to sit down and have a conversation you might make a speaking error or forget a word or even use a word improperly and we’d just keep the conversation going. I would never dream of stopping you and giving you a 300 word lecture and finish by telling you to stop talking to me until you can do it perfectly. That would silly. And misses the entire point of what blogging is really about.

    • Thanks Chloe. I encourage you to go back to 2007 and look at some of the crap I blogged. We are evolving, learning, and growing. That’s okay. If we started out experts or a certain way, there would be no point in living. At least I keep telling myself the journey is half the fun.

      Appreciate your comment. Happy to share with others my story.

      JMM

  6. Yes, down with perfection, which is just an illusion anyway. We are all perfect in our imperfections and that’s what makes us human, and hopefully humane with each other as we are all connected and all in this big old world together.

    Great read. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yes!

      It’s like waiting around to lose weight or until we are perfect. We’ll be waiting forever, and I’m through waiting. I want to live, learn, and grow now.

      thank you for your comment and reading the blog.

      Mwah!

      JMM

  7. Hi Dear. You’ve already explained (I think) that it’s good to make errors to get people to comment so I will comment even tho I know you know this already, right?

    “for whom I made excuses for” — should be simply — “for whom I made excuses”

    Enjoyed this posting. Now you can love me and hate me at the same time.

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