The Path to Perfection: Get the Shitty Ideas out first

Just do it!

The Path to Perfection: Get the Shitty Ideas out first
Photo by Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

One of my greatest hurdles when starting a project has always been my confidence on an idea. Every idea needs to be ready to be worked on and then only it is ok to start. This would end up delaying the execution and work would never start. I would get stuck in a planning loop, thinking out the ideas in my head, but not putting in the effort.

But how would I know what works if I never even start working on the idea?

In the the April 15th edition of the startupy newsletter, I found an interesting perspective; advice from the singer, Ed Sheeran. On songwriting, he says:

"With songs, you are going to write shit songs at the beginning, you are. My songs were terrible, my raps were terrible (I was listening to it the other day), but I got it out of me. And the more and more you write, the more and more you experience and then you start flowing clean water and the songs start getting better and better and better..."

The key is to start and get it out there. Once you start doing, you will learn from the process. There is so much to learning by doing. Sometimes, you get lucky and your idea just works and there you have it. You got the desired result.

But many-a-time, it just doesn't and there you are faced with your creation. It is out of your head and now you can work on it. You can iterate on it, reconfigure it, change it for the better and get others' opinions on it. Let the world be your judge and teacher and you can learn from your experiences.

To quote Matt Damon:

"Judge me for how good my good ideas are, not how bad my bad ideas are... You got to get the window open and throw every idea in there and not be afraid to have shitty ideas because we all have shitty ideas. And sometimes, you need a shitty idea and then you iterate on that and they iterate on that and it builds into a good idea."

There is always a moment when your desired output will require a greater level of experience. You will not have the knowledge you need to get it right. The only thing to do in that moment is to create. As you build, you will learn. Seek out the best in your field. Learn their process through their creations. Observe the details of their books. Sometimes, they even elaborate it themselves. There is always someone, who has done it out there, who can teach and thereby, speed up the process.

"Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window."
--William Faulkner

As long as you are ready to do, you will always find a way. Start!

In Closing

Experience comes by doing the real thing, not just thinking about it. Your mind my create iterations and "what-if" scenarios of all kinds. But it is only in the execution, in the criticism of the real world, you will find how you can do better.

So, go out there and just do it!

Shia knows it!

Hope this gave you the motivation to get started and create something beautiful and magical. Tweet out to me @godric_snow and share your thoughts. Would love to hear about your projects and how they are turning out now.

Originally to be published on April 23rd, 2023