Starting At Zero

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Starting At Zero
Photo Credit: ractapopulous @ Pixabay.com

Starting at zero can be scary.

It’s daunting to have a blank canvas of work, regardless of your creative medium. For writers, it’s like staring at a much larger blank page. The possibilities are endless, and the direction you choose is wholly up to you. Many creatives suffer at this stage, especially when it comes to the quality of their work – it’s not ready, it’s not good enough, whatever excuse you can think of usually starts at the blank slate. Impostor syndrome usually rears it’s ugly head right about now.

There are really real concerns about quality at this point, and they are often valid – but how will you ever get better if you don’t receive feedback?

The main feedback we look for is our audience, whether or not they are paying for our work. The only way to get that sort of feedback is to ship out the product, no matter the medium, and let them into our worlds. Yes, you can get “better” listening to editors, or by practicing over and over again. But the widest range of feedback comes from our audience. An editor, proofreader, or whatever editorial type works for your medium can suggest ways to improve your craft, but that is usually only one opinion. And it is an opinion, make no bones about it. It may not even be a “good” opinion.

Photo Credit: Pexels @ Pixabay.com

Now I’m not suggesting that you don’t have your book edited, or something similar for other creative mediums. Just to remember that it is an opinion – and one you do not have to accept. Get your project out into the wild to get the widest amount of feedback possible, then do it again.

Do the work, get it out to your editor and then your audience.

And that doesn’t mean revise it 20 times. Set a revision limit on yourself, from 0-3 drafts, then let it go. I personally feel that other than touching a few things up, revision is mostly unnecessary. Check for consistency, check for typos and get it out into the world. Some steps may be different in your medium. You do not need validation from an editor anymore, no matter the medium. You can take your creative vision and get it to your audience without any of the gatekeepers of yesteryear. And you’ll often make more money.

You learn by doing, so do it. Then do it again.

There is no greater feeling than having finished a project. Start your next one. Keep going until you are satisfied. Can’t build what isn’t there. Let no one steal your creativity from you, no matter what. Keep delivering what’s in your heart.

How many revisions do you make, or feel you need to make for a project to be “ready”? Are you working on projects of the heart? Let me know in the comments!


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