Interesting vs Perfect, and Engaging Authors

Here’s another lightbulb moment I had recently about ways to put perfectionism back in its box.

It’s a post from Seth Godin on the difference between perfect and interesting, and the choice we have about which route to go down.

You can be the person or the organization that’s perfect…. Or you can be the person or the organization that’s interesting. The thing about being interesting, making a ruckus, creating remarkable products and being magnetic is that you only have to be that way once in a while. No one is expected to be interesting all the time.

Phew! What a relief! You only need to be interesting, remarkable and magnetic some of the time ;-)

I was thinking about this last week when I was following Emma Newman’s journey into the launch of her first book, and the first public readings that went along with it.  (You can read how it went here.)

Of course I understand a lot of the nervousness that inevitably accompanies this kind of launch of something so precious and so personal, but what I was also thinking - and what I wish she knew! - is that her fans won’t care a  jot about perfect.

It won’t matter if she loses her voice, or only 3 people and a dog turn up, if one of the stories has the ending missed out, or the text has been printed upside down. (Fortunately only one of these unlikely things is true :-) )

It won’t matter because she’s engaging, she’s interesting, she’s funny, she’s human, because she’ll be blushing furiously as she reads this, and because her writing is first class, and her stories pull you into a devilishly dark world that you won’t want to leave in a hurry.

I’m not looking for perfect here. I’m too busy looking out for the chance to listen, to read, to meet up, to help out, to cheer lead, to connect.

Perfect wouldn’t be half as much fun.

Engaging is more than enough.


  1. Jackie Walker says:

    Oh gosh what a lovely attribute to be given. I rushed over to Emma’s link to see which of the possibilities was true - see you’ve got the knack of engagement too Joanna!! x

  2. Emma Newman says:

    You were right, I am blushing furiously! Awww shucks… thank you.

    I’m coming to understand that perfection is only what a little, mad bit of myself wants, not the rest of the world. Phew indeed! Life is much better when it’s fun rather than perfect.

    And thanks again :)

  3. Joanna says:

    Jackie Walker, thanks Jackie, and for checking on Emma’s story! :-)

    Emma, I know it’s hard to shake off the fears but it is wonderful when we can trust the process, each other, and our selves…