Ben Crowder /blog

#creativity

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Continuing along the lines of what I wrote on Friday: I’ve gotten into a bad habit of releasing new work the moment it’s finished. While I like getting feedback immediately (which can absolutely be useful in some cases), for me I’m finding that a slightly more delayed approach is better.

More specifically, there’ve been several times where I’ve released a painting and then shortly thereafter regretted it, suddenly seeing flaws in the work that I hadn’t noticed when I was in the thick of it. (I tend to take those paintings down.)

My new rule: wait at least a week.

A week gives me enough time to see the work with (somewhat) new eyes and to fix any newly evident dealbreaker flaws. If the piece still looks good after a week, then it’s ready for release.

One thing I often tend to forget (and really need to remember) is that the first few drafts of something — a painting, a story, whatever it is — are usually imperfect, and that that’s okay. I forget that and get discouraged and give up, but I’m fairly certain in hindsight that many of those abandoned projects would have turned out fine if I’d stuck with it and iterated a few more times. (Especially if I had let things sit for a short while and then reviewed the work to figure out the specific things I needed to fix.)

Moral of the story: Keep calm and carry on.