Nobody Cares... Except You
One of the difficulties with luxury problems, such as having enough time to think about the work you’re doing without it resulting in death or homelessness, is overthinking.
You start fiddling with details that only matter to you. Whether or not the thing you’re making is too different from the last thing, tweaking tiny details in an attempt to mitigate against failure, comparing it to what other people are making, and endlessly trying to make it perfect.
Usually, it's a form of procrastination because we’re scared; should I start a blog using my own name? Or maybe go back to my old name? Or choose a new name? We get stuck in a loop working really hard on everything but the thing that matters. Ahem.
A phrase I often use when watching poorly choreographed contemporary dance is “fun to do, not to watch”. There are certain movements that feel amazing to perform, and just look... meh. No one illustrates this better than Contemporary Eric.
These are generic motifs that don’t add anything, they’re polyfilla, like dancers who use their bow at the end of a show for a cheeky hamstring stretch instead of a triumphant flourish.
Learning when to kill your darlings because they’re getting in the way of what you’re really trying to achieve is hard.
Twitter is having this problem at the moment. Every time they make a functional or privacy update, it reminds users to scream “ban the Nazis!” at them. Because nobody who is being targeted and abused by racists wants them to be furnished with 140 additional characters.
You have to focus on what makes your thing great, and get rid of anything that either doesn’t matter or ruins it. Ruthlessly.
This image is a perfect example. It took me over an hour, and serves to illustrate a point I've already made, only prettier. Very meta.
What are you currently fiddling with? Let me know in the comments, for you are not alone.