Blast Your Inner Perfectionist

We’re all guilty of being perfectionists at one time or another. Maybe it’s having that perfectly manicured lawn or in my case, a driveway that is perfectly snow plowed (it’s like -18°F / -27.7°C right now) . That’s okay. Being anal-retentive about some things in our life is normal, and maybe even necessary for our emotional well-being.

On the other hand, being a perfectionist about your articles is something you simply CANNOT afford to do. If you are, I want you to stop RIGHT NOW. I mean it! Put up your right hand and repeat after me, “I do solemnly swear to never again spend hours polishing my articles to a perfection level. Starting now.”

It may seem odd that I would actually extol the virtues of creating imperfect articles. But think about it — why do people want to read your articles? Is it for the amazing grammatical prowess it demonstrates? Is it for the great meter and rhythm of the words? No.

It’s for the content!

The more articles you have out there, the more readership you’re going to attract;
The more readership you attract, the more exposure you get;
The more exposure you get, the more traffic your website gets;
The more traffic your website gets, the more sales you make;
The more sales you make, the more money you earn!

Do the math:

Imagine setting aside 90 minutes per week to write articles. In a month, you’ll have written & submitted/published about (4) articles.

Now imagine writing and submitting (2) great, but not perfect, articles in that same 90 minutes. By the end of the month you’ll have written & submitted (8) articles! That’s a 100% increase in productivity. You reap the benefits of building your article inventory faster and your readership gets instant access to twice as much value from your area of expertise!

Now submit your imperfect articles today because the market will still love you and your article content! (and we might love you too.)

What do you think? Are you guilty of being a perfectionist too? What has that cost you in terms of lost exposure and lost opportunities?

73 Comments »


1
Zara Green writes:

Okay, okay…I’ve got so many in the works that you’ve shamed me into just publishing them.

Going to read ’em one last time but next week…I am publishing my imperfect articles :-)

Thanks Chris!
@ZaraGreen on Twitter

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 10:10 AM

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2
Heather writes:

Guilty as charged! Thanks for writing this for those of us who struggle with perfectionism. It means a lot coming from an article expert, such as yourself.
“I do solemnly swear!” :)

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 10:29 AM

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3
Cassandra Rae writes:

Yes, I completely agree. Allow the words to flow without need for perfection understanding that you can edit later. When you aren’t distracted with perfectionism, the initial draft is WAY BETTER and EASIER. I have found that my editing time has been cut drastically too.

At the same time, give yourself permission to allow your inner perfectionist to shine in another area of your life.

It all comes down to pick your perfectionism moments trusting that everything ends up perfectly!

{can you tell that this is a topic near and dear to my heart?!}

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 10:33 AM

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4
Dawgelene Sangster writes:

I must admit that I am one of the perfectionist article writers. I literally have 10+ articles that are waiting for me to critique and read again, etc. Its a crazy cycle. Thanks so much for posting this. It certainly helps me to not be so critical of my writing.

Warm Regards

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 10:35 AM

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5
Brian Salisbury writes:

Aiming for perfection in my EzineArticles has been a big problem for me. I must train myself to write these pieces as easily and quickly as I write lengthy, informative emails to my friends. These messages flow well and are fun and easy to write.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 10:40 AM

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6
Martha Rather writes:

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist, yet I still have this problem getting started. Maybe it is just the newness of this whole process. It is so amazing to me.

I loved your interview with Jeff Herring yesterday. I learned a lot.

Thanks for inventing this whole amazing EZine concept and working it so well.

Martha – TheHolisticCookie.com

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 10:49 AM

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7

I applaud your advice about perfectionism. When I teach presentation skills seminars or provide individual speech coaching for executives, I include a list of written tips. Here is one of them:

*Stop trying to be Purrrrffffeekt

I misspell “perfect” to emphasize my point. Audiences don’t demand flawless speakers, and readers don’t expect perfect writers.

Ever know a golfer who scored 18 holes in one in one round? Certainly not, yet millions still enjoy the game and are considered good golfers.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 10:49 AM

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8
Rhonda writes:

Uh oh! I’m so guilty too!

Writing a quick outline and then writing my initial thoughts on each point works best. Then, I review it the next day when my thoughts are fresh…this helps me find my spelling errors and also see if my article flows smoothly.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 10:51 AM

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9
Chuck Bonner writes:

Chris,

Yes and no.

It may depend on the nature of your business. If you are publishing articles to promote a ghost writing business or a similar business where your writing skill _is_ your product, you’d better not let any spelling or grammatical goofs get through in your published articles!

Still, I’ll agree with you on two points:

1. If your business is _not_ directly related to word-craft, quick, high-volume “good enough” articles are better than slow, polished, low-volume “perfect” articles.

2. “Perfect” is absolute, but “good” is relative. Even “great” is relative. Even in cases where grammar and word usage really do matter, there must be a point where it is “good enough to publish.” There is no such thing as a “perfect” article, and we must cut off our polishing and just publish the thing at _some_ point.

Chuck Bonner (not your highest-volume article marketeer, but not quite perfect, either!)

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 10:57 AM

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10
Shirley Bass writes:

I too am guilty. I have articles ready to publish. Stuffy me!

I am working on writing and not editing as I go. It’s kind of hard to break that old habit, but I will be tenacious and leave the bad habit behind.

Shirley Bass

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 11:07 AM

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11
maisie jones writes:

I agree with you, but as I am a brazilian writing in English, sometimes I really police myself to make sure I don’t make a lot of English grammar mistakes.
It is a very difficult subject , as people will judge a lot of your work and the way you think by what you are writing. If you read an article which is full of mistakes it will lose its perspective and is not going to be good reading. Maybe we are just to conditioned to perfection as you mentioned, but I will give it a try and relax a bit more when writing.
tks and good luck
Maisie

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 11:14 AM

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12
Sophia writes:

“I do solemnly swear…”

Most times I do this, not always the case. I will let it sit for a day or two and then tweak it.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM

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13

PERFECT!

But what about the EzineArticles Editors? Hope they are not perfectionists!

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 11:39 AM

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14
Jack Krohn writes:

Chris,

I have a weird system that keeps about 10-15 articles in the bullpen all warmed up and ready to pitch-ha!

Every once in a while I’ll take a second look at them but spend more time on developing ideas for other articles. If they made the first cut they are ready to go (or not)!

Not sure writing is a good choice for perfectionists.

Jack

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 11:43 AM

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15
Matt SF writes:

Busted. I write them up, and sit on them a minimum of 2 hours just so I can walk away, and rethink any important points of view I may have missed.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 11:45 AM

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16
Linda Gordon writes:

Thank you so much for this article. And I loved the cartoon that went along with it. That could be me.

Great advice, Mr. Knight.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 11:57 AM

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17
Sue Mueller writes:

Yep, that’s me! Great though, I need all the endorphines I can get!!!! Keep them rolling. At least they are clean!!!!

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 12:11 PM

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18
Tinu writes:

I’m So guilty of this. There are at least 100 blog posts I could turn into decent articles, but I couldn’t seem to bring myself to just be decent. Meanwhile, how much more money could I have made from them? Definitely going on my daily task list. Thanks Chris.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 12:16 PM

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19
Carl writes:

Hi Chris

I noticed there’s an ‘i’ missing from the word Perfectionist in the title of the email I received on this post.

I’m not getting it yet, am I?

Thanks for this advice though. I’ll try, honestly I will.

Must stop trying to be a perfectionist …
Must stop trying to be a perfectionist …

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 1:02 PM

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20
Goal Setting writes:

I LOVE that cartoon!

Ezines mug (which is my favorite mug at home) on the desk, great branding touch!

Live Your Dreams,

Jill

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 1:16 PM

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21
Hermas Haynes writes:

What exactly is perfection anyway? It’s an elusive, nebulous, subjective state that defies absolute definition.

I think Chris is cautioning us against spending too much time reviewing our articles for publication, over critiquing them for Pulitzer Prize consideration.

Every article writer ought to recognize when an article is satisfactory, when it conveys its message in a clear, easily understood fashion, and is ready for public consumption. It’s a simple matter of gauging when sufficient is enough!

Hermas

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 1:18 PM

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Shirley Bass writes:

Oh, that is too good Carl. Ha, ha, ha… I did not notice the missing ‘I’ Thanks for the laugh.

Shirley Bass

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 1:18 PM

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23

EzineArticles.com is a great example of a site, business and team that is not perfect… not by a long shot.

Internally, our target is to take massive action, innovate daily and do stuff “LIVE” (which means, get it out there even if it’s not perfect) and then iterate the heck out of it… Meaning, as we discover how to be more ‘perfect’ …we’ll continue to use those distinctions to improve our next efforts.

Iteration doesn’t always mean you have to go back and edit all of your prior works… It can mean that you just use your new knowledge to build better articles in the future.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 2:22 PM

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24

As a visual artists there is a need to maintain quality, while at the same time in order to make money, pumping out the volume. There is a question visual artists often ask which is, “How do I know when a painting is done?’. I think that comes with experience for the most part, but it also is resolved by not taking each piece of art too seriously. I usually try to paint more than one piece of work at one time. I have worked on as many as 8 at one time. When I tired of one, felt confused, or was not sure what to do with it next, I set it aside and moved on. I do this same thing with my writing.

My goal this year (once again!) is to actually DO that book “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci”. He took a notebook with him everywhere; jotting down thoughts and questions. Plan is to do that, knowing that my articles, art and creativity, will benefit from that process.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 2:50 PM

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25
Joy Healey writes:

I agree to some extent, but occasionally articles I read are so badly written and punctuated that the author has no credibility and I am so distracted by the poor language that I can’t take in the content of the article.

With spell-checkers so readily available there really is no excuse for some of the mistakes I see.

I’m far from perfect, so I leave my articles overnight before submitting and usually pick up a problem or two when I review them.

Will now sit back and wait to read about any mistakes in this comment!

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 3:04 PM

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26
Cindy Hartman writes:

Ouch! Are you talking about me? I must admit that I edit, edit, edit and rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite. You’ve given me the ‘permission’ I need to stop this.

Thanks!
@CindyHartman on Twitter

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 4:53 PM

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27
Anton writes:

Hi Christopher,

How do you control the quality of your website if the “expert” authors keep submitting their imperfect articles?

I think expert means 95% perfect. How can an author get the “expert” title if his or her articles are only 50% perfect or maybe less?

By the way, thank you for sending me this article.

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 6:41 PM

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28
Rob Metras writes:

Better to have sloppy success than perfected inaction ):

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 11:12 PM

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29
GoDrSue writes:

Hi Chris, Got your post via e-mail.

Were you trying to trick us when you misspelled a word in the title of your e-mail article?

I’m kidding also. But I think it shows that slight imperfections, such as these, are easily overlooked by the human eye, accepted by our mind, and completely understood.

As a former educator and perfectionist in many, but not all, aspects of my life, I am just entering the internet world by starting a blog and submitting articles to your site.

Your blog was an inspiration to me and, I’m sure, to those of us out there “on the fence” to just get writing and to finally publish our works. As you state, “It’s for the content! ,” so we should be focusing on the message to our readers and not on all the technical aspects of writing.

By the way, I find your submission requirements relaxed in comparison to the academic world, but stringent enough so you only publish high quality articles, even though they may contain a few imperfections.

From my understanding, if an article is rejected based on too many of these imperfections, your staff lets the author know where they need to make changes or improvements and they may resubmit the article. Sounds simple enough.

I am awaiting answers from your editorial staff on specific questions and will begin submitting articles to you soon, hopefully without too many imperfections.

Dr Sue
@GoDrSue on Twitter
GoDrSue.com

Comment provided January 16, 2009 at 11:48 PM

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30
Ejvind Jacobsen writes:

Thanks for the “kick in the butt” sometimes it is needed :-)

Will deliver really soon.

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 4:20 AM

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31
Kirby Rooks writes:

Yes I agree that we overdue the content part but also they need to be proofed for grammatical concerns, as nothing is worse then trying to read a badly written piece.

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 4:23 AM

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32
Mel Menzies writes:

Ooooh! You’ve been spying on me! Okay! Hands up! I even have to fold my laundry with the seams of the towels on the inside – same as they are when I peg them on the line!

But seriously, I have to say I agree with Joy Healey. Bad grammar and spelling errors (unless it’s obviously that of a foreigner, in which case I forgive them) detracts from the content as far as I’m concerned. I know how easy it is to err. I can check half a dozen times, but my blog up on my website, and then discover two or three typos. I always have to change them. I feel that not to do so would invalidate my status as a published author. Mel

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 6:37 AM

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33
Mel Menzies writes:

Oh, I forgot to say. A couple of years ago I came across a cartoon showing an angel sitting on a cloud working away on a computer. The caption (forgotten now) said something to the effect that the manuscript was still undergoing revision and editing. Brilliant!

I’ve lost it now. Anyone else come across it? Mel

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 6:43 AM

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34
Steve Hill writes:

Please refer your editors to this blog post and also include it in the guidelines etc. I understand what you are saying and completely agree however it does go against previous messages that you have posted.

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 7:46 AM

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35
Phillip Davis writes:

Hi Chris,

I think there’s a distinction that needs to be made between perfectionism and quality. I once heard the definition of perfectionism as “when whatever you do is not quite good enough.” Quality on the other hand, places the emphasis on providing clear, compelling and concise information to your readers. When I’ve written with that goal in mind, the readers best interest (and not just volume of information) the articles get picked up way more by outside publishers. I’ve had one or two stand out articles that have generated the vast majority of my article traffic. If your writers check their stats, they’ll probably find the same is true. And it’s been because they were meaningful (quality) though certainly not perfect. So yes, by all means give up perfectionism, but don’t go for volume, purely for volume’s sake. One of my favorite sayings is “the politician, having lost his objective, redoubles his efforts.” That digresses into the SEO/land grab mentality and it’s easy then to lose focus. I know you walk a fine line between needing a steady stream of new material, but your company also stands for high quality content… as the branding guy I raise my deluxe EzineArticles coffee mug and beseech you to hold firm!

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 9:51 AM

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36

I think being imperfect does not mean making spelling mistakes, wrong grammar and all that on the silly side. Basically all here are expert authors. Minimum content and language quality must be there.

Perfectionists are normally fastidious and they waste lot of time by going on changing and changing. English is one language where you can go on changing your language in one single article all your life. This is what to be avoided.

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 11:34 AM

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37
Alejandro Guevara Onofre writes:

Christopher. Thanks for your advice. To be frank, I’m a perfectionist sometimes.
Alejandro from Lima, Peru

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 12:23 PM

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38
Edward writes:

Excellent post as usual Chris. And one that should be followed. I never would have written over 250 articles had I obsessed about each and every word.

In fact, if it takes me more than 15-20 minutes to write a 350 word article, something is wrong.

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 3:23 PM

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39

Excellent article! I have been guilty of this. I think most of us fall into this trap because we want to put “our best foot forward.”
Thanks again for another great bit of advice!

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 5:10 PM

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40
Lance Winslow writes:

Agreed. Re-read it, make changes. Read it again and make minor edits. If you are really a perfectionist have someone else read it too and discuss it briefly and re-edit.

Other than that, post it and start the next one.

If you are using voice, edit the basics, re-read and check – post.

Comment provided January 17, 2009 at 6:02 PM

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41

All,

One way to speed up your ability to write articles without spelling errors:

USE FIREFOX! It has built-in spell check.

Also, true story:

When I was editing this blog entry, preparing it for delivery to our newsletter members – I was training our Marketing Manager (Marc, who also contributed to this blog entry) on the process of editing, setting up the template, working with our email list server, etc…

…and I could tell that Marc was feeling uneasy about how fast I was moving… Like he was saying very loudly without speaking that I should slow down, have more quality checks in place; have someone else review my work before sending to 70k people.

…and that’s when I hope I communicated with action that this job, this blog entry, this newsletter, and this message might not have made it out the door when it did if I/we waited until it was just perfect.

Yes, it got sent out the door with a spelling error in the email and that was not intentionally; though ironic, eh?

Comment provided January 18, 2009 at 7:48 AM

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Gary Fletcher writes:

Thanks for the Firefox spell-check tip – it’s awesome!!
Hadn’t noticed it before as I had to download a dictionary before it would work.

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42
Jim McDowell writes:

It is ironic. My problem is the exact opposite.
I have found that many people’s expectations are so low that I have had to readjust and work more at perfection to get my articles published on EzineArticles.

Comment provided January 18, 2009 at 4:19 PM

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43
Chris writes:

OK Chris, now let me get this right – EzineArticles editors are no longer going to be a continuous pain in the butt to productivity and articles are going to be passed in a reasonable time, is that what you’re saying, as I thought that was really why most contributors had a problem with article flow at EzineArticles, not personal writing hangups.

Comment provided January 19, 2009 at 2:48 AM

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44
Geoff writes:

I wouldn`t say I try to be a perfectionist, but I do think good grammar, spelling, and punctuation are important. Before I submit an article I always do a `spellcheck` just to make sure. I think most readers will forgive the odd small error, but too many errors will put the reader off.

I suppose the ideal is the right mix of quality and quantity, but it isn`t always easy to achieve.

Comment provided January 19, 2009 at 4:18 AM

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45
Jean writes:

Perfectionism is is often a problem implementing the initiatives in the complimentary and paid programs on Marketing for small biz and solo-preneur. That is why I also add in classes on overcoming procrastination and perfectionism. All the knowledge in the world is useless if the saboteur gets in the way. Great article.

Comment provided January 19, 2009 at 8:41 AM

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46

Chris,

The EzineArticles Editors are going to continue to reject sloppy work.

Comment provided January 19, 2009 at 8:53 AM

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47

It’s easy to get imperfectly lost in the perfection maze!

Human mind is wonderful. Interpretations are interpreted in myriad interpretations!

A painter may be shocked by the canny interpretations of his most coarse painting. Likewise a writer?

Comment provided January 19, 2009 at 9:11 AM

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48
Anita Hampl writes:

Guilty as charged! Thank you for this timely advice.

I have begun practicing this mantra: ” Done beats perfect, every time.”

Comment provided January 21, 2009 at 4:01 AM

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49
Robert writes:

Chris, I’m with you with getting articles out there and getting them out there fast. Do you have any suggestions for second pass edits of articles that are already published? I mean, other than the obvious nitpicky things. Does it help to add long-tail keywords after publications? Lengthen articles? Can changes to articles hurt?

Thanks.

Comment provided January 21, 2009 at 12:03 PM

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50
Avril Harper writes:

Hi

I agree that sometimes writers can work hard at ‘perfecting’ an otherwise good article, one that will certainly stand up to scrutiny by the vast majority of people.

A problem some writers experience though is writing articles or books that other ‘writers’ admire and who then blatantly copy those articles or books at their own sites, even though those items do not carry any rights at all to copy. I am thinking of two articles of my own that were rejected for publication at an article directory in the last seven days which were taken from a book I wrote over 15 years ago. Those articles had never appeared elsewhere. However, the article directory wrote to tell me my article was rejected on grounds it was ‘attributed to another author’ and they gave me the link of the other ‘writer’s’ web site. Lo and behold this person had broken my entire book down into articles and uploaded them to her site.

I know this probably has little reference to the discussion about ‘perfection’ for articles at article directories, but it does at least show that trying too hard can brings problems of a very different kind.

I also want authors at article directories to be aware this sort of thing does happen and when it happens it hurts. Especially when the genuine writer is not allowed to benefit from their own work.

Which makes me wonder, is it worthwhile taking articles from our own earlier work. Or should we write them all afresh? Any ideas anyone?

Comment provided January 23, 2009 at 2:52 AM

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51
Lance Winslow writes:

Avril,

My gosh that is totally disgusting. Not long ago someone asked to be a co-author with me on a business eBook, and showed me a sample of their work. They actually “lifted it” from an old SBA manual. Can you imagine the balls? Then, I pretended I did not know and told them we could use it in the new co-authored eBook. They quickly backtracked and made some excuse of why we couldn’t use it. Amazing the balls some people have.

Many of the so-called experts out there are plagiarists, it is disgusting indeed.

Lance

Comment provided January 23, 2009 at 3:04 AM

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52

Avril,

It’s still worth using or repackaging articles from your own previous works.

It is true that there are times when a member submits something that is their own genuine work that we’re not able to verify such… but it’s worth defending yourself and it won’t leave any negative marks on your account history.

Comment provided January 23, 2009 at 6:01 AM

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Robert writes:

Avril,

I wasn’t exactly wild about my print publisher submitting one of my own books to Google Books. I thought at the time it was the one way to make sure it was plagiarized.

But it turns out now that rights have reverted to me that having the book on Google Books establishes me as author. That doesn’t completely stop plagiarism but it certainly helps with EzineArticles.

Comment provided January 23, 2009 at 8:55 AM

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Avril Harper writes:

Hello Lance, Christopher and Robert abd thank you so much for your help and advice.

The biggest problem for me was that I had deliberately sorted out over 200 books I have written over the past 20 years and had sorted them into articles ready to edit and upload. I planned to write articles from now to forever based on those books until the first two were rejected as being ‘attributed to another author’. I personally have lost the courage to rejig my old books as articles as the mere thought that anyone thinks I am the copyright thief fills me with horror.

Lance, I agree that people sometimes do the oddest things. Someone once presented a book for me to publish which turned out to be a book by a very famous US writer with American words changed into UK English, words like ‘sidewalk’ converted to ‘pavement’, and such. I almost hit the roof, until someone told me the gentleman concerned was ill and had a memory problem and he actually really did think he had written the book himself. The worst thing was that other people considered him such a good writer that for three years he was senior editor of one of the UK’s top business magazines. He left without anyone discovering his secret.

Robert, I agree about the Google thing and the fear of people plagiarising your work, but I have found that you are at much the same risk from people buying your product who ultimately copy it and call it their own. There is so little you can do these days to protect your work.

Christopher, thanks so much for saying the writer’s reputation remains intact when this sort of problem hits them. My biggest worry and which caused me to lose sleep for three whole nights was that my EzineArticles account would be suspended all because of someone copying my work. I contacted the copycat and she has not had the manners to reply although I know she opened my email.

Anyway everyone, thanks for all the help, it is much appreciated.

Avril

Comment provided January 23, 2009 at 9:33 AM

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55
Jonathan Huie writes:

Chris,

Although I can agree with you with regard to over-polishing a high-quality article, much of what I see on EzineArticles has the opposite problem – looking just thrown together.

The value of publishing an article is not just getting it published, not even getting “views.” An article is only of true value when a reader finds the article, views it, clicks on the URL, and takes an action that benefits the author.

If a reader does not consider my article of sufficient value to visit my web site and take action, I have failed as an author.

I have concern that an overall decreasing quality of articles on EzineArticles would devalue your web site and its power to attract readership to the quality articles.

– Jonathan

Comment provided January 23, 2009 at 4:14 PM

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56
Melanie Kissell writes:

Chris,

I’ll have to agree with “Geoff” here. The risk in advising steering far away from perfectionism might result in some pretty schlocky submissions.

I get the main theme of your article and I absolutely concur with not going overboard in an attempt to turn out only PERFECT work. After all, no one’s perfect.

I’ve always been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. Not only about writing, but every aspect of my life. It’s good to know that I can ease up a bit and not be so “neurotic”, if you will.

Great post!
~Melanie

Comment provided January 23, 2009 at 8:36 PM

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57
Avril Harper writes:

Hi again

I agree that writers must strive for perfectionism. It is ‘prostituting’ our trade to do anything different. And, at the risk of sounding patronising, it is also not fair to EzineArticles to submit sub-standard work to their site, especially when most writers submit work to benefit themselves first and foremost.

Avril Harper

Comment provided January 24, 2009 at 1:41 AM

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Dennis Bandy writes:

No danger of me submitting perfict artikles!5%

Comment provided January 25, 2009 at 8:12 PM

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59
Fasblog writes:

Nice article there. I feel that there should be a good blend of quality and quantity. Not just quantity but some quality too, and then we are talking.

Comment provided January 26, 2009 at 10:37 AM

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Carl writes:

I think the best way to meet in the middle for me on this one is to write shorter articles – I’m currently pumping out 1-3000 words per article and those are devils to self-edit and perfect and I apologise to the EzineArticles team as I recently did that with a 3000 word effort that I re-submitted.

I do think if you’re reading an article by an expert and you notice a spelling or grammatical error it sticks in your mind just as much as the content does so I hate producing typos.

I appreciate the training, Chris.

Comment provided January 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM

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Shirley Bass writes:

Wow Carl! I admire your ability to write 3,000 word articles. You have stirred my interest. Now, I’m excited about reading some of those articles.

Nice going,

Shirley Bass

Comment provided January 29, 2009 at 12:33 PM

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Carl writes:

Thanks Shirley – but please don’t encourage me – I’m trying to cut down.

:)

Comment provided January 29, 2009 at 1:31 PM

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Shirley Bass writes:

Carl,

Your words are so easy to read. They just flow along… But, I understand your desire to cut back on word count.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy the read! I also bookmarked your blog.

Shirley

Comment provided January 29, 2009 at 2:12 PM

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Mel Menzies writes:

Carl – I, too, find it very difficult to write anything much under 1,000 words. Because I have 25 years of writing books, I’ve got into the habit of writing in chunks of 1,200 words or more as part of a chapter, or as a magazine article. Knowing how I skim articles online, I think my blogs are all too long and I’m trying to train myself to shorten my articles. I just find it very difficult to be succinct without sacrificing meaningfulness (if that’s a word!).
Mel Menzies, author of A Painful Post Mortem, a story of love and loss.

Comment provided January 31, 2009 at 8:09 AM

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Shirley writes:

For Carl and Mel – At what point does an article become an E-book? I’m working on an article now, but I can’t seem to stop. Just wondering if I should turn it into a book…..

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Carl writes:

Hi Shirley – I’m working on my first book at the mo and it’ll be in the region of 65’000 words I think – then I’m going to do what Chris suggests and churn out loads of little articles around things touched on in the book. I’ve seen small e-books of around 5-10’000 words – think it depends more on the quality of the info inside than the size of the book in some cases.

If you find an article keeps sparking you off to write more stuff you may have a book in the making but it’s a long journey – and if you’re a perfectionist like me a very long journey – but then I do think a book needs to look like it’s been carefully manicured.

I was listening to Chris talking recently about whether the book or the articles should come first – he tells us it doesn’t really matter. Just keep going!

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65
Geeva Nathan writes:

Perfection is for the neurotics. Nothing is absolute in this world, more relative. Even science admits that the atom is not perfect.

Think on the line of the illogical and absurd and you will create better articles.

Comment provided February 2, 2009 at 9:09 PM

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66
George Parker writes:

I would agree that quantity is very important in article marketing. Quantity gets your name out there, gets your rankings up at the search engines, and may get you more page-views and click-throughs to your web site.

Having said that, I think quality trumps quantity when it comes to your professional reputation. If you are positioning yourself as a authority on a subject, especially if attention to detail and well-thought-out presentations are important in your area of expertise, then having fewer higher-quality articles is probably better than gobs of mediocre material. There are quite a few authors who have published tons of articles with shallow, poorly written content that, after reading an article or two, I conclude “the juice is not worth the squeeze”. I am sure other readers would agree.

The best solution is quantity and quality.

Comment provided February 5, 2009 at 10:47 AM

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67

Robert,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to your question in blog comment #49.

Our guidance here is to focus only on improving your article writing processes with each new successive article and that the return-on-time for going back to re-edit all of your existing articles may not be worth it or worse:

All articles edited in our system are re-human-reviewed each time they are edited and TODAY’S standards apply. That means your perfectly accepted article from years ago is now flagged in problem status until you bring it in line with today’s editorial standards.

Comment provided May 13, 2009 at 1:28 PM

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Karen writes:

Respectfully, I don’t agree that quantity is more important than quality. You can’t put a price on doing work that you feel good about, especially on the Internet where writers have little to no control over where articles go once they’re released. An article with errors or that’s not put together well is unlikely to position its author as much of an expert, in writing or anything else.

Comment provided January 14, 2010 at 8:41 AM

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69
D Conn writes:

I think the shortest amount of time I’ve ever spent on 1 article is 4 hours! 90 minutes sounds like a dream come true! One of my goals for 2010 is to be able to write articles in 1 hour, not counting the research.

Comment provided January 14, 2010 at 9:19 AM

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70
Laurie Gondreau writes:

I agree with George Parker. I sit in the Quality Trumps Camp. Sorry. You have some fun ideas, but they aren’t for everyone. When am reading an article and detect seriously sloppy work, I stop reading.

Comment provided January 14, 2010 at 6:54 PM

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