The Messy Guide to Making Stuff
I used to believe that everything I created – be it a book, a business, a relationship, a home – had to be perfect. And perfect first time.
As a result of this kind of thinking, writing my first novel was torturous.
Stopping and starting and deleting and cursing and ‘what’s-wrong-with-me‘-ing.
It was horrible.
My writing process was revolutionised the day I stuck a sign by computer which said:
IT’S OK TO WRITE CRAP!
Finally, I was free.
And surprisingly, once I’d allowed myself to create badly, what I created wasn’t that bad at all.
Recently, I’ve been reading a great book by John Williams called, SCREW WORK BREAK FREE.
The book is essentially a 30 day course to help kick-start a creative or business idea.
In it Williams stresses the importance of not getting hung up on perfection and just creating and launching your ideas into the world anyway.
I’d been using the course to make progress on a website idea but as a side effect of all the ‘screw it, just do it’ talk I inadvertently ended up becoming a vlogger too.
Now, I’ve never had any desire to make videos before. In fact, I’ve been pretty resistant to the idea. But one day I was sitting at my desk and I felt the urge to have a little video chat on my Facebook page.
I picked up my phone and started recording. No preparation, no torturous rehearsals, no repeated takes in the search for perfection. I pressed record, I talked and I posted.
The response I got was incredibly positive.
My Facebook author page, which until then had been a bit of a tumbleweed zone, suddenly came alive with comments and messages.
People seemed to really like what I was doing, in spite of – or maybe even because of – the unpolished feel.
So the next day I recorded another video.
And I’ve been making week-daily vlogs ever since.
They’re messy and rough around the edges.
And I’m still learning as I go but the feedback and engagement I’ve been getting has been so encouraging.
I could so easily have carried on dismissing video as something that just wasn’t for me.
I could have killed all the fun by demanding – and never achieving – perfection.
But by allowing myself to be messy I’ve discovered a whole new strand of creativity and a way of connecting with people, which I’m loving.
It’s been a great lesson.
And one I’d love for you to have a think about.
What have you been putting off out of fear that it just won’t be good enough?
What would you do if you allowed yourself to be messy?
Why not start doing it right now?
With the sole aim of having fun and seeing what happens.
I hope being messy with your creations is as fun for you as it’s been for me.
To imperfectionists everywhere!
Join the Facebook fun.
To watch my messy videos on life, creativity, business goals and daring to dream and to join in the conversation simply follow my Facebook page here.
I’d love to hear from you.