Please, Suck So Hard

Why don’t you suck? Or maybe the better question is, why don’t you give yourself permission to suck?

I’m going to wait here for a moment while you lift your mind up out of the gutter and realize I’m talking about creativity and productivity and not… well… whatever else your mind conjured. Now that we’re on the same page, I want to share some of the best advice I’ve never gotten. It’s okay to be really bad. I mean really, really bad. Your first draft? It’s probably more suitable for wallpaper than publishing. Your rough cut? Lock it in the vault because no one should be subjected to it. But that’s okay.

So, please, go out and suck. Start thinking of it not as an option, but a requirement.

The obvious reason is that if you stop forcing yourself to be perfect before you create something, you’ll free yourself to you know, actually create. It’s amazing how liberating everything from writing to painting to acting can become when you just stop giving a fuck about whatever people think. It’s only through the process of creating that you learn to create, and you can’t do that if your own expectations of how good the work must be get in the way.

The second, less obvious reason, and maybe even more important, is iteration — the process of getting successively closer to something that is beautiful and amazing. You can’t iterate if you expect the first draft to be Pulitzer-ready. You already think it’s perfect despite that it’s horrible, so you don’t try to improve it. And that’s only if you’ve allowed yourself to try and fail so that you have something on the table you can actually improve (see above re: the obvious reason).

So you want to be creative? Then please, go out and suck. Start thinking of it not as an option, but a requirement. Then watch what happens.