Whenever I start a project, no matter how small, I tend to think that I need to start at the ending. I often forget that the ending doesn’t exist yet, that the ending is just the vision I have of what the work will look like when it’s finished.
It’s an amateur mistake.
I’ve had to learn to not confuse the first version of my work with the vision I have of what the work should look like.
Brian Koppelman explained it best on the latest episode of The Tim Ferriss show. He said that The first draft is the artistic inspiration, the next five drafts are the craft.
We often mistake artistic inspirations for the craft. And when our work doesn’t perfectly match those fleeting moments of inspiration, we tend to scrap everything, beat ourselves up for not being good enough, and never give it another go.
But that’s just another amateur mistake – a mistake that I’ve made many times.
Everybody has big ideas and epiphanies. We all know at least one person who thinks that they’ve got hidden artistic talents that the world just isn’t ready for. And maybe they do have that kind of talent. But do they have the tenacity to subdue their talents to the humbling process of getting to draft 5?
The amateur says, “Someday, I’ll…”
The professional says, “Today, I’ll…”
The amateur starts at the ending and works their way down.
The professional starts at the beginning and works their way up.