Studio 747 - A Lifestyle Blog for Creative Minds: The Creative Journey: When Being Half-Ass Is Ok

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Creative Journey: When Being Half-Ass Is Ok

Being an Aries has its pros and cons. One pro is that I have no problem starting any project. Give me an idea and a bolt of creative energy will shoot through me and I’m ready to ram my way into the project. This is evidenced by the many blogs that I have started and even more paintings, jewelry, drawings, and articles I have written. On the other hand, as an Aries I am also notorious for not finishing projects. As evidenced by all the paintings, jewelry, drawings, and articles that beg to be finished.

In fact, as I write this article, one painting in particular (pictured above) that sits by my desk has been staring at me for the past couple weeks enticing me to come for a visit. I stare back and say, “Later.”

Why later?


I think to myself that it’s the lack of time that has caused me to put off finishing this painting. No, actually, I have plenty of time. If I added up all the hours of NBA basketball I’ve watched the past month, (It’s the playoffs and there are games Every. Single. Day.) I can’t come up with that excuse that I don’t have time.

As I dove into the recesses of my conscious mind and swam through the muck of bullshit excuses, I realized what was stopping me from actually finishing that painting and all the countless other projects that have yet to be finished: Fear.

I was going to say that perfectionism has blocked me, but if I go even beyond that I realize that the root of any creativity block is pure fear. Fear that it’s not going to be good enough. Fear that you are not good enough. Fear that people won’t like it. How dare you think that you can actually be an artist or writer?

I could deny that it is fear that is blocking my creativity because after all, I really could care what people think about my work. I’ve reached a point in my life where I do truly believe that what you say about me is not my business.

“My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.” -Anthony Hopkins

I’m thinking my fear stems from this idea that if I do finish something, it’s not going to be good enough.

Then I think, Good enough for who or what?!?

That’s when I remembered that creating should simply be a pursuit journey of pleasure and discovery. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be, so finish it for goodness sake.

It’s OK to be half-ass about your creative endeavors. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Stand back and revel in your accomplishment. You finished something, and doesn’t that in itself feel so freakin’ good?!?

Perfection Is An Illusion

Doing something perfectly feels good, doesn’t it? Baking a perfect cake, writing a perfect poem, creating the perfect song. But whose standard are you comparing it too?

What I like about the state of the beauty industry these days (and one of the reasons why I launched Beauty Is Within) is that people are waking up to the idea that there is no “perfect” body. For many years we’ve been fed all of these false stories and images about what women’s bodies should look like. The perfect body is an illusion.

As such, the perfect song, book, article, business, or any creative masterpiece is also an illusion. Thinking that you created something half-ass may actually be wrong. What you just poured your heart and soul into may actually be the best thing since the invention of the wheel.

We all know Pablo Picasso as a prolific artist that many people admire. His works have sold for millions of dollars, but I look at some of his drawings and wonder if at anytime as he created he thought that what he was drawing or painting was just meh. And yet, people are willing to pay top dollar for these artistic, and perhaps half-ass, expressions of creativity.

Pablo Picasso drawing

I get that you want the end result to be the best that it can be. You want it to be just right. I’ve been there plenty of times. I know that feeling. But you can’t let that be the reason you don’t finish a project. Let it be half-ass. Let it be done instead of cluttering up your mind.

One could argue that pushing through even though the creative energy hasn’t fully developed contradicts the it’s-the-journey-not-the-outcome notion. I get that. On the other hand, if you have too many unfinished projects (like I admittedly do), it can be detrimental to your psyche.

When To Let Go

Just like it’s OK to be half-ass about a project, it’s also OK to let it go. As Dana Claudat says in her post, Are You Surrounded by Unfinished Projects?:

For creative projects, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if you actually still want to do the project. There’s no shame in scrapping a draft of a script or painting over a painting. Just make sure it’s not a decision based on self-sabotage!

Which would you rather have? A cluttered, overwhelmed mind haunting you to finish those projects or many finished projects with some of them possibly being “half-ass” according to you? You can always go back and make changes later if the idea of it being half-ass bothers you that much.

Has there ever been a time in your creative journey when you felt like a project was half-ass? What did you do about it?