"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."
Although this is a concept that I've appreciated for a while, lately it has become a bit of a mantra for me. Looking up at the bulletin board in my office, there's evidence of five (!!!) projects that I'm currently working on... and that's outside of paid work and teaching! While I'm excited to be so immersed in these projects, I'm starting to worry that my immersion will soon become entanglement. I wonder if the Voltaire quote applies here. Is trying to make my work "perfect" inhibiting me from actually finishing it?? I remember feeling this way in grad school; I only declared my thesis film finished in order to graduate. I remember feeling like I had more work to do on it. And yet, today - seven years later - I look back on that project with a lot of pride. It was done, even though I couldn't see it clearly at the time. So in trying to learn from that experience, how can I shift the "ongoingness" of my projects towards completion?
This Ira Glass excerpt provides some relief:
I think his point is an important one. Building a body of work is crucial not just as a way of keeping professional goals in sight, but also in honing and understanding one's skill set.
When I was in high school, my soccer teammates and I cleverly made t-shirts that read, "Don't just do it; do it right." I liked that sentiment at the time (and we were sticking it to Nike... yeah!!!), but maybe there's another side to that coin. Maybe sometimes it is just better to finish something... to see something through to the end. And while I'm loathe to quote Larry the Cable Guy ("Get 'er done!"), I have to admit that there's some wisdom in that very simple - albeit obtuse - phrase.
So my new goal is that by the time the snow melts around here (and that's actually affording myself quite a bit of time, unfortunately...), I'll have a completed film to share. And if it has some missing pieces and loose ends ... well, I suppose I'm okay with that.