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Escaping Perfectionism by Tending to My Digital Garden

March 28, 2022

Life’s a garden, dig it.

  • Joe Dirt

When learning to write in school, most of us were taught that a process must be followed to be considered finished.

Start with a rough draft, then edits on the way to a final draft, refining the paper as you go until the final draft barely resembles the rough draft. All of this is being done before it’s turned in, not iteratively when new information is learned. This process-heavy writing isn’t reflective of how the real world works; information is constantly changing. It’s rarely in a “final” state.

In the garden metaphor, we find a plot of land where we cultivate plants of all types, tending to their needs and guiding them in their lives. We tend to them and help them grow. We can similarly think of our writing. Our notes start no different than seedlings, developed from that seed of an idea, and over time we refine and add to it to grow into an evergreen tree.

Following this cycle, we can break free from the idea that we must strive for perfection, that we can’t put anything out into the world without it being perfect in every way. That way of thinking will only prevent us from putting anything out in public. Iteration is the name of the game in software. Why can’t that be the same for our writing?

Additional Information

Many great and wonderful people have written about Digital Gardens, a small sample of them can be found below.

Joel Hooks - My blog is a digital garden Maggie Appleton - A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden Chris Biscardi - What is a Digital Garden?