“Finished — with dropped stitches — is better than never starting at all.”
This quote was in a horoscope email I received that was talking about the new moon, about how we are used to a society that is hyper productivity based, push to burn out type of existence.
I then shared it with a friend on twitter who was stressed about a paper she was writing for her masters program, worrying it wouldn’t be good enough. This is incredibly common in a world that is built on productivity and the “perfect lives/existences” that are shared on social media. There are things in life we can say are “perfect” once completed, straight lines, mathematical equations, etc. However, there are also many things that can never be considered perfect because there is room for interpretation, understanding and always seen through the biases of the person who is viewing/reading/eating etc the finished piece. Can a piece of art ever truly be perfect? Can a paper? A cake? A human? They can be completed to the standards of the person who created them, so to them they are perfect, but, does that mean they are actually perfect?
I would go so far as to say “finished, with dropped stitches, is better than not finished at all” We think of a hem on a piece of clothing, from a distance you can’t tell if every stitch is exact, you just see the clothing, being worn, fulfilling its purpose. Yes, if the hem is really awful you may notice the wave in the material where it should lay straight, you may notice loose threads etc. But, a few dropped stitches can still lead to completed and usable products/creations.
I have never been someone who considered themselves a perfectionist. More of a that’s good enough, that will do, not so bad type of completion person. I get the job done, it meets the needs, but it has flaws like me.
Also like me, I strive to get better each time I do something. I believe in the idea that mastery of a skill is something that is learned/developed over time, not over night. As they say, you have to do something for 10,000 hours before you can be considered a master/expert in it. That is roughly 417 days worth of hours. Imagine doing something 24 hours a day for over a year, makes sense that you would be a master by then.
I look back on my content creation and see how it was 3, 4, 5 years ago. Basic, one shot, hope for no/few errors, natural lighting or all the lamps, no editing, etc. I look at my pieces now, multi angles, high quality lighting, high def filming equipment, editing with transitions, water marks, overlays, audio levelled out etc. I see that growth and I feel proud. Proud that I am constantly growing in what I am creating, getting better on my own standard. Proud that I am unsure of where my talent and learning will level out, or if it will ever level out.
I am also proud that I wasn’t overwhelmed by the high quality content I saw being put out and say I’m not that good, I’ll never be that good so why should I even try.
I knew that I had my own take on things, my own way of creating and presenting, with my own energy and that there would be people who would enjoy it. I don’t make a ton of money on my content sales and I am ok with that. I believe in the power of passive income and not being run down by the monetizing value of everything.
If I had a consultant look at the time/energy I put into creating clips VS what I make from them they would laugh hysterically and advise that I stop immediately. I know the ROI isn’t there but it is another thing that grows steadily. I make about 10x as much now on clip sales compared to what I did 2-3 years ago. This growth reminds me of the point of passive income. Yes I put a bunch of time/energy into creating but then it’s done and out there from now on. I have clips I made 4-6 years ago that sell and that’s the goal. That these pieces of content will continue earning me money for many years to come with no additional effort (other than uploading when new sites come to life).
The other reason I continue to create is that it is straight up fun for me. I LOVE making content. Whether it is generic/repetitive of the clips I know do well, or an expensive custom, the idea of bringing someone such levels of pleasure and joy is a beautiful thing. Someone has a fantasy in their head, that fantasy fuels their desire and leads to pleasure/desire/healing/release/joy/etc. I get to be part of that becoming reality and that is a very powerful feeling. I also love the creativity of creating content, the visual of how I want it to turn out, of how the outfit/background/lighting/angles etc. will come together. Mix this with the never ending editing skills I have/can learn and the education in creative content is limitless. Overlays, audio balancing, watermarks, blurring, transitions, special effects, green screen backgrounds etc. Some of these I have learned, some of these I will when the time/content calls for it. These unending options are part of the fun that feeds my creative brain.
It can be easy to get sucked into monetizing everything when you start making fetish content. This is something I actually warn content creators of when I teach on passive income. Yes there is someone out there who will pay to see you floss/shave/sleep/cook/etc. Remembering that your life is yours and you get to choose who and when people are allowed into it, can keep the creative as a positive in this industry.
So is there such a thing as a perfect piece of content? It can be perfect to you, but remember, something you consider just ok may just be perfect in the eye of the beholder.