Learning how to start something creative is more important than learning how to perfect it

Many of my articles on Creative Something are centered around doing anything to move an idea or project forward.

Why not focus more on the importance of perfecting or evolving an idea or project, rather than the repetitive notion of simply getting started?

The reason I insist that we – as artists, writers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and designers – focus more on starting and less on perfection is that starting is undoubtedly the biggest struggle we each face as creative workers.

Even experts and professionals struggle to get their ideas moving. Action is an ongoing battle.

Of course, perfection is a battle too, but one that can only come once there’s something to perfect.

Yes, perfection is something to aim for, but to perfect something you first need to create it, and to create it you need to take those first steps. How can you perfect what doesn’t exist in the first place? How can you know what to change or improve if there’s nothing in front of you?

The challenges we face are primarily in overcoming the fear of failure, of feeling like an impostor, of feeling like our efforts are worthwhile, all at the very beginning of a project. Face those fears, fight the battle of starting something, and you can move onto perfecting it. You’ll learn more about what you’re capable of by starting something than you will of fine-tuning it.

Rather than starting a project with an eye on the center of the target, it’s much more rewarding to start a project with the sole intent of propelling it forward. Movement is key, not orientation.

Worry about getting started, taking the first few steps. It might be just at the start of a project, or it might be every day you sit down to think and create. Only after you’ve moved the needle on starting should you begin to think about improving or perfecting it.

Read this next: All you need is five minutes to do creative work

Photo by John Trainor.