At some point, you need to let go. Stop holding on to the project. Take your hands off the working table and put the tools down. Put it out in the world.
What's worse than a "good" project is a project that never sees daylight.
Most projects can be iterated. Most projects can get better - even after they launch. The trajectory of a project's lifespan does not end at "publish." Half the time it gets better when you put it out there for feedback.
A few weeks ago I almost pulled the plug on a big project I've been working on for over a year. Definitely a disaster. Cue the trusty quotes and the stores of inspirational knowledge I have built up for the terrifically-terrible meltdown moments:
"When you hit a wall with an idea or project, before you back up or give up, get help." - by Matt Brown of Klutz Books.
So I got help. I sent a lengthy email to my advisors. I took a short break. I got advice.
They said: Stop working. Finish. Put it out there. Set your expectations lower for the first iteration and make it happen faster. Don't hold on to the idea so tightly. Stop trying to control everything. Set a deadline. And put it out there.
Ideas are pretty worthless, really. Everyone has ideas. It's what you do with them that's important. Projects are key. Projects that launch are even better (although you can learn from everything you kill or don't finish, too) - but find something to finish and put it out there.
Make it through that last 10%.
What's the worst that can happen?
Coming soon! The Writer's Workshop and Content Strategy for Thought Leaders, as digital self-guided courses. Available in the Fall. Early-bird registration will be shared first to my private email list.