I used to think that writers wrote their beautiful books in one easy-breezy flow.

But they don’t.

They write shitty first drafts.

They delete parts that don’t work.

They start over.


I used to think that painters painted their paintings in one effortless series of spot-on brush strokes.

But they don’t.

They make sketches to see what works best.

They erase.

They repaint parts that don’t work.


I used to think that photographers picked up their camera and took one perfect picture after the other.

But they don’t.

They overexpose and underexpose.

They reframe that same shot till it works.

They take many pictures that never get published.


And then there’s us.

Setting out on a new venture.

Writing a book.  Taking on that project.  Giving that presentation.


And we wanna be perfect at it.

Right away.

No shitty drafts.  No reframings.  No mistakes.


And that’s why we don’t get started.

That’s why we don’t create our best work.

That’s why we don’t shine.


They wrote their best work, not despite of their shitty drafts, but because of them.

They shot that one gorgeous picture, not despite of their reframings, but because they allowed themselves to get it wrong.

They shine, not despite of their mistakes, but because they gave themselves the space to make a lot of them.


So here’s to shitty drafts, mistakes and getting it wrong.

To writing and rewriting.

To painting and repainting.

To framing and reframing.


Because that’s truly living.

Because that’s living truly.

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4 Responses to Why they create their best work. (And we don’t.)

  1. Barbara says:

    ABSOLUTELY! Thank you for your concise, articulate expression of my wild and random thoughts. 🙂

  2. Lenny says:

    wohoo!! Another great blog post!!
    Love it!!

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