This One Can Suck

There’s something quite beautiful that happens when you commit to a daily, or weekly, or otherwise very consistent creative practice: you get less and less precious about the work.

Think about it: if you only create one blog post (or painting or video) per month, then there’s more pressure. You have a whole month to worry about it, fuss over the end result, try to make it as perfect as it can be. No wonder we get hung up on tiny details! No wonder we procrastinate! No wonder we make excuses so that we don’t need to ship our work. No wonder, because that kind of pressure is debilitating.

But if you’re making a new piece of anything every single day, you do not have the time or energy to wring your hands and get all existential up in here. As Caroline Kelso shared on this episode of the Wandering Aimfully show, shipping work daily forces you to move on. Even if you hate the work you just put out there, you have to do it all over again tomorrow.

The best part is that, as in most things, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Once you have a collection of work to show for your labours, one small piece of that collection is no longer as important. This one can suck. That one can suck. Who cares? You’re making a body of work, not a pinky fingernail of work. It all combines to create something bigger than itself, bigger than you even imagined or intended.

Also, let’s not overlook the fact that we learn something valuable from every single thing we create, no matter how much it sucks. We gain insight from that experience and get to make the next thing just a little bit better. Even if this one sucks, we can still get something good out of it.

I know it’s scary to put things out into the world to (ostensibly) be judged, but I promise it gets easier. Plus, 99% of the time, nobody will comment on it anyways! The other 1% is usually positive.

So here’s your permission slip: just start showing up. The first one can suck. So can the second. So can they all. But you’ll never get better at what you don’t practice. Go! Do! Create! And then once you start, keep going.

You can hear way more of my thoughts on this topic in my podcast episode, Add It Up.

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