Lately I’ve been in conversation with other creatives about how we can support each other in producing “good work.”
What does it take? How must we show up? What environment will support it? How can we bring the supportive environment we feel in this closed community into the public?
The conversation has been stimulating and supportive; it’s important to ask these questions.
Nobody wants to put out shitty work. We want our work to be useful and in service to those who can benefit from it.
That’s admirable, right?
But what happens when the desire to make our work “good” and “useful” detracts from the essence of the work?
I have noticed (more than once) that the more I attach to the desire for my work to be good and useful, the further I get from the core of what I initially wanted to say.
First, I start to look around and compare it to other work I see.
Comparison is the gateway to judgment and doubt. This leads me to the over-tinkering and over-working that can strip my work of its personality and authenticity, and everything else that probably makes it “good” or “useful.”
Sometimes I refrain from sharing that work at all because it loses its essence.
One question that keeps popping up for me as I consider this conversation about producing good work is
What if the decision about whether my work is “good” is not up to me?
Who am I to say whether my work is good or useful?
Maybe my part is just to put it out there and see how it lands. Listen to the response.
Let me qualify that: listen to the response from the people who matter — people in the audience you’re trying to reach.
The more we can share our work, the more feedback we can receive. That’s how we iterate and make our work better.
Maybe what we need to do is get comfortable with publishing shitty work.