I am just finishing up Ed Catmull’s must-read book Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
. It is one of the best books on creativity, I have ever read. Toward the end of the book, Ed shares a list of take-away points and I believe this one is vital for any creative, especially those who work as a team, on long-term projects.

“Don’t wait for things to be perfect before you share them with others. Show early and show often. It’ll be pretty when we get there, but it won’t be pretty along the way. And that’s as it should be.”

Think about it. Have you ever finished a project and it just wasn’t good? In Ed’s world at Pixar, they have a process all along the way where they share a projects progress all along the way. They full expect the creation to go through its own “awkward phase” and they accept that. This sharing of projects in progress allows them to fix things all along the way and produce something much better at the end. How much easier would our creative lives be if we would be able to take the time to get some feedback in process rather than finding the finished product is a disaster and have to start over? It’s happened to most creatives at one time or another.

This approach takes some vulnerability, to put imperfect work out for others to see but isn’t the end result worth it? Do you have a few trusted friends to whom you can show your works in progress? People who are sensitive enough to the process to not kill something in its early development, but bold enough to tell you what could be done to make it better? If not, maybe it’s time to find them.

Take some time and read Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
You’ll thank me for recommending it.

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