I can't believe it's already been a month since Circles. For those of you not familiar, Circles is a design conference in Grapevine, TX (close to Dallas). It's two days chock full of good folks and good talks. A lot of powerful ideas were shared. Luckily, you can watch them all here. It was an honor to share some of what I've learned on my creative journey.
My session: Destination Process: Lessons Learned by Giving it a Go
Originally I was going to tell everyone everything I've ever learned and hope something would stick. Then I met with Gideon (MVP storyteller) and he redirected me.
In writing this talk I realized something important.
We don't learn because we're told; we learn by experience.
The lessons I'm jazzed to shout from the rooftops were learned because I just did the thing.
How do we climb a mountain?
We start somewhere.
We celebrate the awful, ugly, awkward first drafts. We do this because those middle school drafts are what get us out of the starting gate. They are warriors. They're the belle of the ball. They are that "dorky" girl in She's All That who, in my world, would have been named prom queen at the end. The first drafts are what take us from "seemed like a good idea at the time" to ____________ [insert big thing here].
By celebrating this seemingly floundering and ungraceful mishmash, we redefine success. It's a lot of pressure to go from 0-60 in 15 seconds. But if we ease into it, just by doing it, regardless of its condition, we are already a success. By celebrating the first draft, we give ourselves permission to fail. When we are brave enough to fail, we can take bigger risks and make better stuff. By applauding the first drafts, we're giving the entire process a purpose. If the entire process has a purpose, we all have something to share. We can let our success (and failures) bring success to others. We build community and make something bigger than ourselves.
I also talk about comparison, the bottomless pie of creativity, some of my embarrassing first attempts of I'd Rather Be Short, and that time in high school when I cried so hard at a waitressing job that they put me in the freezer.
Check it out. Let me know what you think.
How do you feel about first drafts? Do you have special tricks to get you started? Please share your thoughts!