Author Dean Wesley Smith was talking about Heinlein’s Rules on his blog last year. I can’t recall the exact post, but the more I read this quote, the more I realize it’s not just great creativity advice, but great LIFE advice:
“You won’t be able to stay on [Heinlein’s Rules] for too long, but just keep climbing back on when you realize you have fallen off and you will make it.”
Of course, you can substitute “Heinlein’s Rules” with any practice you’re trying to grow in. The Gospel of Christ, healthy eating, exercise…the list is endless! I love this quote.
Never give up!
Super artist Noah Bradley once posted this on his Mastodon feed:
Sketches are a really important part of my process. Until you’ve done an actual sketch, there’s almost no way to tell if an idea is worth pursuing.
So sketches are a low-investment way to trial an idea. If one turns out particularly well, I can spend the 20-30 hours to finish it up.
I’m glad he posted this, because my reply helped me articulate a lesson I’d learned earlier in the year:
I’m finally waking up to this idea (esp in thumbnailing towards a specific end). Often I have a great idea in my head. While it’s up there, the ideal image is too amazing for me to even try and tackle. But if I start thumbnailing and playing, suddenly the abstract is concrete, and when it’s concrete, I can see what needs to be done to get the piece going where I want it. Thanks for your terrific reminder.
Absolutely. It’s so easy to stay stuck in your own head and get so wrapped up in thinking an idea is perfect without actually making it.
“The Mona Lisa has a huge social media presence. Her picture is everywhere. But she doesn’t tweet. She’s big on social media because she’s an icon, but she’s not an icon because she’s big on social media.”
(from this entry from Seth Godin’s blog)
I keep coming back to a piece of advice I saw for selling markets ages ago: make cool stuff and tell everyone about it! the end.
It’s not perfect, but it does what I want.
I came across this quote on my Mastodon.art feed many months ago, attached to what I thought was a very cool picture. I boosted it, but also had the presence of mind to write it down on a Post-It note that I stuck above my computer*.
As far as I’m concerned, it deserves to be listed alongside the greatest art quotes of all time.
I come back to frequently. Because as a perfectionist-in-recovery it’s so easy to want to noodle and noodle (or sometimes NOT EVEN START) on a piece until you feel it is “perfect.”
But “perfect” isn’t the point, not to the viewer. The point is to evoke something.
Lots of things I enjoy evoke joy or laughter or awe or mystery without being absolutely flawless. (And sometimes, the flaws even add to my reaction!).
This quote’s helped me say, “You know what? I could noodle/add/whatever a ton more on this, but at this point, IT’S DOING WHAT I WANT. So even though it’s not technically perfect, I can be satisfied with it.”
And then I get to move on to the next thing!
*I didn’t write down the original speaker, though! If you’re the originator of this quote, I’d be delighted to credit you!