Arggg! The artist’s dilemma.
What do I create? When is it good enough to share?
In the case of the coach or consultant type person, we’re putting information and our voice out into the world. How do we decide what is worthy of having our signature and what isn’t?
On one end of the spectrum we can refine and perfect a piece for years, yet still feel like it’s complete crap. It never reaches the potential of what it could be. And what if others know how crappy it is? Oh, the horror.
So, it remains this hidden, unfinished ‘masterpiece’ that will some day (that will never come) be ready for release. In the name of perfection, we continue to edit and tweak it. We don’t actually make it any better, but at least we’re doing something. Right?
And, I suppose, we eventually die with part of our music still in us.
The alternative is to spew a bunch of garbage out into the world that is a poor representation of ourselves. We might become known, but not for our best work.
Instead of adding to the beauty of the world, we add to the noise with our articles, free reports, and webinars that don’t add any real value to our audience.
Instead of being art creators who are sharing our best with the world, we become box checkers. We’re get more focused on crossing the stuff off of our to-do lists instead of making an impact.
Alicia Keys represents someone who has found the sweet spot between these crazy extremes. That’s why I selected her for today’s quote:
“If I didn’t love it, I would not record it.” – Alicia Keys, Musician. Born January 25, 1981
There’s no possible way that she completely loves a song from the first draft that she writes. She may feel the potential of what’s happening, but I suspect that it’s a falling in love process that happens through many rounds of edits to the lyrics.
Then comes the music for those lyrics. More editing and revising to turn the potential hit into reality.
Then how to play and sing it in a way that she feels alive. That she completely loves it. Hours in the studio.
Then, and only then, can she record something she loves.
I think that’s what’s behind this quote.
So, how can we model that example? How can we start with that thing within us that’s dying to be shared, refine it, and then put it out into the world knowing that it’s good enough for us?
That’s the challenge we face in seeking to add beauty to the world instead of contributing to the noise.