You Can't Do Everything In Your Head
Many of us have an abundance of ideas, which we try to conceive, develop, hone, launch and evaluate entirely in our heads.
We don’t want to commit to a project which might be a time-consuming, painful failure. We don’t want to abandon the formulas that have worked well for us in the past. We don’t want to put our names to a new project only to discover it’s not what people want from us.
The problem is, the version you have in your head often has little to do with reality. You could be consigning your greatest potential works to the bin, all because you never tested them.
I’ve built and abandoned more than 20 websites over the past three years. I’d fall in love with an idea on the Friday, spend the entire weekend building it, then delete it on Sunday night. Every unfulfilled attempt made it harder and harder to launch.
Finally, my sister interrupted one of my diatribes listing all of the reasons it might not work, and reminded me firmly that “you can’t do it all in your head”. She was right. I threw a site up that night, had two close friends read it, then stood next to my sister as I hit publish and went for an ice cream.
I’d never imagined the response my writing has had in the past two and a half weeks: it's been a deeply moving and joyous experience.
Now that it's alive and in use, I can see the changes I need to make as the amount of content increases, the ways I can improve it, and the exciting avenues it might lead me down. Before that, all I could see were the many, many ways it could fail.
If you’re holding on to your ideas or your work, let go.
Perhaps the first step is to get some feedback from someone you trust. That might send you back to the drawing board (if so don’t leave it a long time before getting a second round of feedback). On the other hand, it might just be as ready as it’ll ever be.
Strange Fruit means something different to every person who hears it. Yayoi Kusama’s paintings (the artist in the featured image) provoke a different reaction in everyone who perceives them. Your work will never be finished, ready or complete until it’s living and breathing in the world.
Get it out of your head, and in to ours. Then go have an ice cream.
What project are you struggling to launch? Let me know in the comments, I'll see if I can help.