Is a work of art ever finished?
I’ve been mulling this over recently as I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s “Linchpin” and found myself challenged by the thought that not every piece of work, every document, every presentation, every piece of music or every song I produce has to be perfect.
At one point in the book he’s suggesting that there is a resistance to declaring something we are working on as ‘finished’ because at that point we have to put it ‘out there’ and people will start to judge us on it – and yet, he asserts, if we constantly hold back refining and editing and tweaking our piece of work we may never actually release it at all.
If you’re creating something simply because it enables you to express something within you that just ‘has’ to be said (or even if you are creating something purely for reward) then never actually putting it out there is worse than not quite managing to express it perfectly this time round.
I accept that the people around me are not perfect, that the world I live in is not perfect and that I am not perfect. Therefore it’s extremely unlikely that I will ever create anything perfect… yet my goal is to produce the best work I can – every time.
An integral part of the process of creating should be learning new things as we go. That being the case then the act of creating each piece of work helps me prepare for creating a better one next time, and the time after that.
If I do the best work I am able and that work manages to touch one person and communicate something to them in the process then I would call that a success – but one I aim to top in the future.