perfectionism can be a crippling disease and the biggest roadblock to creativity. it’s the reason i don’t post much. it’s also the reason i often don’t pursue a lot of the projects i’d like to do.
“when i have more time, i will be able to completely surrender myself to this project, and it’s going to be amazing.”
this is the thought that plagues me, because deep down i know i’ll never have ‘more time’. it also doesn’t have to be ‘amazing’. it can be just ‘okay’ as well. an ‘okay’ project can eventually be developed into something amazing. giving myself the permission to produce ‘okay’ projects means i can produce more. and producing more will help me to identify the projects where potential exists, and also the ones i’d rather let go.
doing a project in, say, fifteen minutes, and giving myself the freedom for the product to be just ‘okay’ is a notion so liberating that i hope it will enable me to produce more.
to reference one of my favourite quotes by Ira Glass:
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
I’ve just gotta make stuff that’s ‘just not that good’. stuff that is trying to be good. that has potential, but it’s not good. my work, it doesn’t always have to have this special thing that I want it to have.
Because one day, after fishing for years with not a single bite, there will be a magnificent fish on the end of the line. and it will taste delicious!