Gall’s Law and art
My belief is that the voice of dissatisfaction we hear when something could be better has far more potential than we give credit. It causes me to make improvements to a project because I know it can be better.
There are times where we shouldn’t listen to that voice of dissatisfaction, too. It can stop us from putting out any of our work. I’m working on that part, it’s important to not let my perfectionism get the best of me. It’s part of the reason I post on my blog often: to form opinions, publish them openly, and do it regularly enough that I won’t get too obsessed about whether they’re perfect or not. Seth Godin suggested it and he leads by example.
Hate to sound apathetic but you won’t even get me on the record saying that posting everyday for me is a forever thing. It’s like an experiment, one that I figure can’t cost me much but is a cool enough of an idea to me that I’ll just keep doing it for awhile.
After all, the way we get *really* good is actually a result of slow and small changes. It’s true no matter how good we’ve gotten, with very few exceptions. Have you ever heard of Gall’s law? First read about it in The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman.
“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: a complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a simple system.”
– John Gall, systems theorist
Read about it in a business context but now, isn’t that how artists get good too? Try to make something too complicated starting out, it won’t come out good. Seasoned veterans can make a well respected, intricate piece of work many times over. They understand the nuances of their craft because they all started small and practical. And if we want to join them, so will we.