January 31, 2017

Wip-fection : (Work In Progress Perfection)

I used to think I had the patience of a saint but it turns out I am in a (never ending) race to the finish line - that is, with myself. But someone once reminded me that the finishing line of life is my own impending mortality. Which is a bit depressing - so I’ve pulled it back to wiggling-anticipation. I’m on the edge of highly impatient; but (hopefully) in the right way. For years I agonised over perfection, obsessed over it and I eventually discovered, while an advantageous characteristic in a plastic surgeon or a professional knife thrower, it's actually a major hinderance as a creative.

In your quest for perfection it often means you reside in the perfect dwelling of finishing sweet FA. That's right, perfection is the direct route to procrastination town, with no stops to sign-off-ville and did I mention this train just goes in a massive loop? I’ll stop with the train analogy but you get the idea. To be a perfectionist is never really to complete anything because, in the completion, you'll always find something that could have been better. Something could have worked harder. Something could be more perfect and back to the drawing board you go.

However, complete something to the best you can; give it all you have and then draw a line under it. Much like your book, it's far better to have 10 rough ideas and 3 of which be worth developing than focusing on one singular piece and being disappointed when it's ripped apart. Because, chances are, it will. Unfortunately, this is the nature of what we do and on more than one occasion I’ve left a crit with my one perfect idea and no perfect internship.

“If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” - Alfred Nobel

People are impressed by thinkers, do-ers and oh-shit-look-what-I’ve-done-ers. Passion often comes from being so incredibly out of your depth that you’re left, “faking it, until you make it.” There’s a lot to be said about just plunging in the deep end and if it works - good on you. If it doesn’t, ask for a rubber ring and get out of the pool.

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” - Miles Davis

If we take away learning from our own trials and challenges as creatives all you have is the same, unfinished, piece of work. It's okay for something not to be nailed but learn from it. As long as it's the best of you right now, we'll call it wip-fection. The more you do, the more you learn - don't let the perfectionist in you hold you back.

"Strive for continuous improvement instead of perfection."

Kim Collins


Published by: Adele in Opinion
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