Archive for March 15, 2023

I was listening to a podcast today on my hobby, plastic model building. They had a special guest on who was talking about a very complicated procedure needed to make your models look even more realistic. I’ve seen the kind of work he is talking about and I have to admit it looks spectacular, but I have a confession. The process he described was so complicated that it would take all the joy out of the hobby for me.

No this is not a post about my hobby. Rather it’s a post about life and the arts. I understand wanting to do our best work, but at what point are we overcomplicating things? At what point are we delving so far into the minutia, accomplishing things few people will notice, diminishing our productivity and stripping all the joy from the process of creating. I realize not everything in the arts is a cost benefit analysis, but is there a point where we can say it’s good enough and move on.

I think overcomplicating things and overthinking them can go hand in hand. I know I find myself thinking about things and at times worrying about things, that are probably not even noticeable to anyone but me. I start to try to put myself into other people’s heads, think of their every objection and try to circumvent them all, when no one ever said a word. Often this can be creatively crippling. In everything I do, I want to give God my best, and I do want to make sure I create from a place of empathy. I want to make sure that I am not unnecessarily offensive or off-putting, but I can overthink and overcomplicate myself into accomplishing nothing. Wouldn’t it be better to create whatever we create to the point where it will serve its purpose and then move on to the next good thing? What if we trusted God to let us know when something is done and good enough? With the illustration from my hobby, there comes a point where the overworking strips the fun from the project. Maybe it would be better to get it to the point where I am happy with it, put it on the shelf and crack open the next box.

I think that’s what I want to do. Overthinking and overcomplicating makes life exhausting.