even when you don’t feel quite ready

David Shaywitz:

My favorite story in Creative Confidence, the wonderful new book by design gurus Tom and David Kelley, describes a pottery class that was split in half and given one of two assignments.

Half the students were told they would be evaluated on the quality of a single clay pot due at the end of the class, while the other half were told they’d be evaluated by the volume of pottery generated – literally by the weight of their collective work.  Not surprisingly, the students in the first group labored in intensively week after work to deliberately craft the finest piece they could, while students in the second group quickly threw pot after pot, week after week.

The remarkable observation, report the Kelleys, was that at the end of the class, “the best pieces all came from students whose goal was quantity, the ones who had spent the most time actually practicing their craft.”

The point of this story (originally from Art & Fear, by David Bayles and Ted Orland): act, iterate, get started — even when you don’t feel quite ready.


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