Most of us flinch and hesitate.
We habitually waver, especially when it comes to making our best work. The insistent noise coming from the outside world is never warm and fuzzy. The keyboard warriors are always looking to spill some blood, but that only accounts for a small part of the truth. What is more telling is the fact that we are our own saboteurs. We are responsible for some pretty nasty maneuvering. We go to great lengths to hide away from the world. We are our worst critic.
We constantly compare our ourselves to others. We needlessly match our gifts against those of others. We overthink things and micro analyze our motivation, including the technical execution of the work we do. We always try to sniff out if it’s any good.
This leads us to a whole bunch of nothing. Nothing, because we rarely share anything meaningful we’ve created with strangers. We only offer a little sneak peak, to friends and family, and nothing more.
We keep perpetually revising and reediting. Hiding. Destroying. Hiding some more. Starting again, from the beginning.
We are never done.
Yet our best work, is our finished work.
This is so important.
A half-baked apple pie is not a pie. A bunch of disconnected chapters of a book, does not a novel make. A sweater with only one arm, is somewhat under warming.
As a society, we have become somewhat accustomed to always being in the middle of something. Not quite there but too far in to go back. Afraid of the consequences. Afraid of what people will think. Afraid that we’ll be discovered for the fraud that we think that we are.
But its our finished work that matters.
Our finished work is our best work.
It is our best work, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. It doesn’t mean we will receive praise and a purchase order, it only means that its fit for human consumption, or for wearing out in public. The praise and the accolades are bound to come later.
Our finished work is our best work because in it lies our courage to let people see what we’ve made and who we are. We dared to contribute to the mosaic of human conversation.
It takes great courage to share your work with the world.
And only in sharing can you hope to receive meaningful feedback.
Perhaps not right away.
Yes, the keyboard warriors will most certainly be first to sling some mud and vile words in your direction. It’s not personal. Without the mud or the slinging, they might actually have to do something constructive with their lives. They might have to create something, and this scares them to no end. They find false comfort in the war of words, by imagining the world needs to be protected from itself.
In time, meaningful feedback will come.
Your best work, if you dare to finish it, will receive some meaningful criticism. Criticism that will help you make your next work better. You’ll have time and the experience to bake a better pie. Or to add a sleeve to your sweater. Or to develop a more complete and memorable story.
You have to finish something.
Gather up all your half-baked and forgotten ideas and get to work.
Don’t stop till you’re finished.
Don’t listen to yourself.
And don’t forget to share.