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Create through the crap, Part 2

There are moments when you look at what you’ve created and you think, “Oh crap! I can’t let anybody see this. What on Earth was I thinking when I said/wrote/did that?”

It’s common. We all go through it. I call it “creating through the crap.”

Here’s the part we must strive to remember:

The crap we create is not the final product, it’s the raw material.

Genius rarely strikes at the very first moment of creative expression. But once we get the ideas–even the crappy ones…ESPECIALLY the crappy ones–out there, we can begin the real work of refining, rearranging, and reframing.

Trying to create while skipping past the part where your work sounds or looks crappy, is like trying to become a concert pianist without ever hitting an “off” key. You need those “off” keys to make good music. In fact, the only thing that makes an “off” key “off” is one’s inability to properly incorporate it into the musical piece.

In a similar way, crappy work is only crappy when we fail to use it as an element in our larger recipe for success.

Crappy = unfinished work + an “I’m finished” attitude.

There’s an old saying: If you’re going through Hell, don’t stop. Keep your focus on the “going through” part until you reach the other side.

Likewise, if it feels like you’re creating crap, keep your focus on the “creating” part until you reach the other side.

You’ll get there.

That’s my two cents,

T.K. Coleman

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Thank you for this ! It couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time . I am busily creating & recreating “crap” mainly all week and was feeling very down . Your notes have been very inspiring so far . This one gives me confidence to keep moving forward through the ‘crappy” parts to find the perfection through it all . Keep writing , keep inspiring , you are great at it !

    1. Thank you, Janice 🙂 I really relate to your experiences as I have been toiling through that as well. I’m happy to hear that you’re creating yourself past the resistance. And thank you so much for saying those words of encouragement about my writing. It’s highly appreciated 🙂



  2. Thank you for this reminder. I often put myself down because I don’t have the college education like most published authors – so I think that I need to learn this or that before I can continue writing. I may just take out the box of papers I’ve been hiding and start from there. 🙂

    1. Aaah yes, I know those kinds of thoughts all too well. I say, yes, go right ahead and pull out that box of papers. You have nothing to lose and a WHOLE LOT to gain. The person who keeps pressing forward can’t avoid greatness 🙂

  3. Love that equation,
    Crappy = “unfinished work” + an “I’m finished” attitude. Very catchy and it’s a great reminder to keep on going.
    Thanks, T.K. 😀

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