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Don't Get So Close!

It’s kind of a no-brainer that if you’re invested in something you spend a lot of time with it. If you like a book, you find the time to read it, you like cooking so you make your own meals more than eating out, you really like that new Netflix show so you veg out for a weekend on the couch binge watching the entire series. This even more apparent in the arts, it’s practically an unspoken expectation that if you’re good at something then you’ve spent a lot of time getting to that point. You spend a lot of time on it because you’re passionate about it, and therein lies a problem.

Have you ever rewatched something you haven’t seen since you were really young? It’s been a while, but you remember it being awesome and you’re excited to finally see it again after all this time. But when it’s done you think to yourself “that wasn’t nearly as good as I remember, what happened?” In short, you were so passionate about it as a kid that you overlooked the flaws that now stick out to you like a sore thumb. The same can be said about any passion project a creative may have. You can get inspired by the idea behind your passion project so much that you inadvertently blind yourself to a mountain of otherwise obvious flaws. I know that I’ve personally spent years developing a huge sprawling story only to have to scrap it because I never realized I was practically plagiarizing one of my favorite shows.

The point that I’m trying to make is; when you’re invested in something you’re making, be careful not to get too close to what it is you’re making. There’s a couple of ways you can do this, the first is to regularly have other people see what you’re making and give feedback. No matter how good you are, you’re never going to see the things someone else does. When making something smaller -like a single art piece- I find that pushing myself to just go faster helps. You can’t get too invested in something if you don’t spend the time to get invested in the first place.

So, in conclusion be invested in what you're doing, just not to the point that you can't see the flaws.

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