My creative process right now feels at once familiar and completely strange. For so many reasons, the project I’m working on right now is different than anything I’ve done before. At the same time, it feels right and I can’t imagine working on anything else. It’s as if everything I’ve been through was preparing me for this. Or maybe it’s just that this project is the natural conclusion to my history as a creative.
Either way, when I began filming my online class this past weekend, I felt an internal shift take place. After almost six months of preparation, I was finally doing the part of the project that felt the most bold. Getting in front of the camera is the only way to get this work—my work—out into the world. That being said, my puppetry skills are a little rusty and my on-camera presence is, at times, stiff. It’s also good enough.
Before I started filming, I wrote “DONE OVER PERFECT” on a big yellow Post-It note and stuck it to the wall behind my camera. I thought about everything Seth Godin has ever said about abandoning perfectionism. At the end of the day, I’m a creative and not a heart surgeon. So I have some wiggle room when it comes to they ways I’m helping others heal. Good enough really is good enough.
My acceptance that my work is good enough is also partially thanks to where I’m at financially. I’ve cleared out every corner of my bank account to bring this project to life and will be putting things on my credit card until my class launches in September. My hope is that this work is quickly profitable. But even if it isn’t, I’ll have an impressive item to add to my creative portfolio should I need to go in search of other work.
While it has become clear to me that this project is healing a creative wound that I have, it’s also much bigger than that. Shipping my work is as much about things coming full circle for me as it is about helping the people I want to serve. Good enough allows me to focus on them. On finishing what I set out to do so that they—you—can benefit from it. When I focus on that, good enough is something I am proud to ship.
In her book This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett compares the creative process to killing a butterfly. “I reach up and pluck the butterfly from the air. I take it from the region of my head and I press it down against my desk, and there, with my own hand, I kill it. It’s not that I want to kill it, but it’s the only way I can get something that is so three-dimensional onto the flat page.” It’s not perfect but it’s good enough.
So, what does “good enough” look like in your work?