Flores: Why 'done' is better than 'perfect'
I’ve been paralyzed about what to write this week for two days now. I’ve gone back and forth between feeling I’ve been redundant in my articles about self-care, wondering if I should start writing more scientific articles about the effects of aluminum on the human body, and then wondering if anyone really cares? I’ve started and stopped this column about three different times in my head and postponed its writing until right this very second.
Normally I wouldn’t give our readers such an intimate view about what transpires in a writer’s head before striking literature “gold” (not that what I write is “gold”) however I thought it was relevant to bring our readers, you, into a more personalized perspective of the silliness I put myself through creatively, every time I write.
A while ago, I heard the phrase, “It’s better “done” than perfect.” When I first heard it, I immediately argued with the idea. Why finish projects when they clearly aren’t your best? Why produce art publicly, that isn’t the absolute, perfect reflection of the brilliant artist we think we are?
The answer is simple. People who complete tasks have a greater opportunity to hone their crafts (whether it’s writing or metal working) than people who sit paralyzed, and don’t even begin, or worse, like myself, don’t finish their projects.
How many artists have half-finished, orphaned creative “children” lying around a workshop or taking up precious space in their heads? I know for myself; I’m constantly working and re-working the novel I’ve been working on for a YEAR, only to really have written two thousand new words over the past 6 months. How sad it is, and how selfish really, that so many brilliant ideas are trapped at the “gate” between an artist’s imagination and true reality. Wouldn’t it be nice if more of us brought our brain children out and into the open so we could all enjoy them?
Here’s a different way of looking at things — what if we sent our actual children back to our Creator before being born? It would look something like this:
“Hey God? I hear you’re sending me a kid ... is it perfect? I mean, does it have flaws or do you think you should work on it a little more … you know, get out the kinks?”
Then God being benevolent, and patient responds, nodding with kindness, “Of course, my child. Your child is perfect.”
Then you say, “Are you sure, God? I mean, like, really sure? What if people don’t like it. What if someone thinks it’s ugly ... I mean, don’t you think you should work on it a little more?”
Let’s pause a moment to imagine our Creator, holding this perfect little soul in Its hands, with a confused look on its face? The whole scenario sounds ridiculous! Right?
The same ridiculousness is what we put ourselves through each day. We hold back our creativity, our visions — we never even start to work on our dreams because we’re always waiting. Waiting for the right moment, the right equipment, the right number of people to “like” us and follow us on Instagram, the right number of stars in the sky, meanwhile worried someone may not like what we produce.
The blessing of completing a project is twofold: Number one — you can say you actually did it. “Bragging rights” are everything for creative self-esteem. Number two — you can look at your work and truly perfect and critique it! You can evolve your art, and through “evolutionizing” your art, you can evolve your very self.
To that end, I’ll leave you with one more chestnut: “One person’s trash is another’s treasure.” Bottom line is, if you really, REALLY bomb on a project, the odds are there will be at least ONE person that loves it. So, what are you waiting for? Be brave, get it done.