A film maker once told me he only had one direction for his crew. And that was this: ‘don’t get it right – get it done’.
For some, this may sound like poor advice. Surely, we should all strive for the best possible outcome? Yes, indeed, but the key word here is ‘possible’.
Every creative pursuit has its constraints. These may be time, resources, skill-levels, etc. Although we are aware of these, many of us – in nearing completion of a task – may have the nagging doubt our work could be better. So, we don’t finish.
At some point, we have to agree that what we have produced is good enough. We will invariably wish some things were different; some elements should be better. But unless we have the courage to declare our work complete, we may never finish.
Flaws and All
Though you may be unhappy with some of your creative rough edges, it could be that these are what give your work its character. To you, something may feel like an annoying blemish. But to everyone else, it could seem inspired. Why do you think we apply the phrase ‘flawed genius’ so often to creative artists?
If you work to commission, you will invariably need to meet an imposed cut-off. This may feel like an inconvenience but try to see it is an advantage. You need to deliver your work by a certain point in time and within a set budget. So, procrastination is not an option. One way or another, you have to ‘get it done’, flaws and all.
In the world of education, timetables similarly restrict our pupils. Older children must deliver assignments for assessment on time. Younger ones must generally complete given tasks within a lesson framework.
Remember that what is important, within this context, is that the outcome doesn’t matter. Yes, a few of you may flinch at that assertion. But real learning comes through the creative process. Making mistakes is part of that process. And wanting to do better another.
Progress & Improve
Fear of something not being good enough can prevent a pupil from completing a creative task. Not only that, it can put them off even starting. So, it is vital they understand that this is a safe environment in which they can experiment. Encourage them to end up with a ‘finished’ piece, regardless of its flaws. This should enable them to get on and immerse themselves in the act of creation, rather than fretting about its outcome.
Indeed, whether you create within the commercial world, for educational purposes or simply for fun, there’s a good chance you’ll be unhappy – on some level – with what you make. But this is not a bad thing. It demonstrates a desire to progress and improve. And the way to do this is to create something else. And – when that’s not good enough – something else again. And again.
Get it Done
So long as we remember to enjoy the process, this becomes a rewarding and fulfilling situation. As we continue to strive to improve, we become evermore fascinated by the act of creating.
Though we may not consider all our output to be ‘right’, we are getting it done.