You know when you have those moments where you’re like, “I know very few things for certain, but this…this I know this for sure.”…? Yes? No?
I’ll skip the rapport and get to the point:
Just try it.
HA! It was in the header this whole time.
Last Thursday I spoke at Adobe’s Austin Creative Jam. It was a real big time. Local designers competed for a few hours, then a crowd full of students and professionals gathered for Foodapalooza grub and booze. We mingled, then four of us spoke for 15 minutes each on our process. The grand finale was the room voting on which design they liked best. It was a great night. Be sure to check out the other speakers: Lin Zagorski, Ty Wilkins and Ryan Hamrick.
How’d I spend my 15 minutes?
Talking about books, of course.
*Photo by Bonnie & Lauren
I’m working on my second book, The Roommate Book. I forget that it wasn’t long ago that I didn’t think it was possible for me to be a published author/illustrator at this point in my life.
Let me explain via the rewind button.
In college I knew I was pretty okay, but “all my classmates are way better.”
I almost moved to South Korea (to teach English) because I didn’t think I’d get a job in “this economy”* PLUS “I’m not even that good.”
I always wanted to write and illustrate books but I didn’t think I had it in me until “Sometime in the future when I’m older and better and have more time.”
I put off starting I’d Rather Be Short because “I’m not a good writer” and “I’m not even qualified.”
I didn’t think I could get a book deal because “I’m not that type of person—the type to get PUBLISHED.”
Once I did have a book deal, I didn’t think designers I respected would take it seriously because “I don’t draw the right way.”
And on and on and on.
But somewhere between those lines read,
“You may not be the best, but what if you just try?”
“You are qualified at you. You are an expert at your story” and
“Just because this hasn’t happened to you yet doesn’t mean it can’t or isn’t going to.”
“Big deal” stuff is all relative. If your name is Lorne Michaels, why are you reading this? Please keep working on your show that I will always love despite the dummies who say it hasn’t been funny since the 90′s.
Back to the rest of us. If [insert creative dream] is indeed a dream of yours, then I imagine that while you are inspired by the possibilities, you might also find yourself on the other end of the spectrum. The part that feels like it’s too good to be true or too “advanced for where you are now.”
But that’s hogwash (I can make that joke because I’m from Iowa).
The best person for the job is the one who is doing the job. Not the one who says they’re going to do it, or the person with the most qualifications, but the one who is actually doing it.
We have no idea what we’re capable of. What we do know is that we’re capable of more than we think. The least we can do is try. Just try! Just wait and see! Let’s get off our twerking booties, computers, Instagram and Farmville (really?) and MAKE. Make dinosaurs out of tin foil and necklaces out of macaroni, record a song in the bathroom, I don’t know! You do you. It might be bad, but do it. Make it. And then put it into the world.
If it’s nagging at you now, it will nag at you later. THEREFORE, It is better to make a crappy draft sooner than later, my friends. Back to one of those few things I know for certain:
It is better to start somewhere now than to start somewhere later.
Just do the thing.
Or, if this is easier,
just try the thing.
*I realize I just quoted ‘the economy’ but you have to remember it was 2010 and people were blaming canker sores on the economy.