Make a Mess

A writing professor of mine in college once told me the secret to writing:

“Just start. Starting is the hardest part. You’ll be tempted to edit yourself, or obsess over details. You’ll be tempted to create a clean and polished piece of work. That’s impossible. Instead, focus on making a mess. Then, clean it up later.”

The idea of “making a mess” has stuck with me ever since. Making a mess is easy. My kids can make an impressive mess in a matter of minutes — and have fun while they do it. I approach a new design project with the same methodology; I get everything out on the page and make a giant mess of it.

And then I clean it up.

And then I’ll mess it up again.

And then I’ll clean it up, again.

Rinse. Repeat ad nauseum.

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