The Curse of Aspiration

Dilemma: Publish a piece of work in an imperfect state or nothing at all.

Have the draft sitting there. Complete, but not. Something is missing. It’s the feeling that it’s truly done. Have you spent enough time on it? Is it good enough?

Quality over quantity.

I try to live by that. I would always prefer to make one truly good thing instead of a lot of mediocre ones. Problem is there is limited time. Getting truly good at anything requires time. And practice of course. Lots of it, which leads back to the time problem.

Knowledge adds another layer.

The more you know about something the more you worry about it. The details of which you know exist are becoming a problem just because you know they are there. You could do something with them, couldn’t you?

Example: Someone who never made a movie before and never read a thing about film theory. He will not think about details such as camera perspective or colors. He will not think much about lighting or costumes. Nor the background, music, or frames per second.
He has just the idea, does it, and is done with it.

But the more you know about what you could do, the more you start to think about if you should. If you don’t stop yourself, you can get dragged down by the simple sum of possibilities and get done nothing at all.

It’s a curse and a blessing at once. Because the more you learn, the more you see the details and hidden gems in works of art. You see all the slight nuances that make a thing beautiful. Eventually, you want your own work to have these. The aspiration to create something unique. It has set in.

So… How do you finish the thing you just worked on? Despite it surely not being perfect.

How do you make the draft a done thing? You could stop worrying about the fact if it’s perfect. If it’s complete even. You could define the goal of the piece new:
Was the goal to create something perfect from the start? Isn’t that too ambitious all along? Doomed to fail. Does not everything has some flaw to it? Some typo, some hairline, some wrong color in frame 25? Hell, nature makes mistakes too. On purpose even.

Isn’t that little imperfection the thing that makes it unipue?

1 thought on “The Curse of Aspiration”

  1. A few good words of wisdom here. I have kind of the same problem. I’m publishing my blogposts once a week. But often they feel not good and sometimes I’m even hesitating to publish them, start a new one instead and the outcome is even worse.
    I have so many texts in draft-state, I have so many unfinished fanfiction, I have so many ideas of putting them into audio-pieces like I did with my shortstories “Veles” or “Wiedersehen” – but there’s not enough time.
    Over the years I learned to be content at a certain state. I learn from the imperfection and try to go on, try to improve the next time. Only to see me struggling on another task. That’s life. And I’m happy with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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