On Creativity: Starting vs. Finishing

I'm currently working on a number of projects that require me to take some risks, try some new ideas, and submit myself to others. It brings up two mindsets that I often struggle to reconcile, namely, Daring to Start vs. Finishing with Excellence. "Finish what you start, and only start good things." This was the maxim of my friend Carlos for a while. (I'm unsure whether he stuck to it.) This idea has elegance because it seems like it might spare the world from lots of sophomoric work, haphazard designs, and projects that run out of steam. I, for one, hate those things and dread being involved in them. Carlos's statement sounds like the rule of someone who is focused, dependable, and masterful. (More and more often, Carlos himself passes for all three at once.) The counterargument is embodied in this video by Ze Frank. He argues that ideas, unrealized, build themselves up in one's brain- demanding greater and greater hypothetical perfection before they can be executed. As such, he advocates getting ideas out and made as quickly as possible, even if this often leads to failure. I suspect real wisdom lies in clearing out ideas quickly and casually, and knowing how best to move forward with the worthwhile projects once they're out in the open.
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2 Responses to On Creativity: Starting vs. Finishing

  1. Heidi says:

    Am I allowed to comment? well. whatever. I am occasionally given perspective on how much I have ‘surprise learned’ about what I like and believe through ugly journal sketching and writing random crap down. I would vote for something along the lines of . . . intuitive honing of good subject matter through constantly shuffling and physicaly manifesting your ideas. (Which is pretty much what you said)

    <3 <3 !!

    • Ryan says:

      Yes, Heidi. Luckily, the discipline of writing includes the twin discipline of editing. This allows the writer to be exuberant and the editor to be judicious.

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