How do you feel about them?, they wanted to know.
The first time you do something, you’re not going to do it very well. I look back on things I wrote a decade ago — sometimes even stuff I wrote a year ago — and I’m embarrassed at how bad it is. I look at old projects of mine, and I can’t believe how average the work is.
My earlier work sucked.
The only way to get better is to keep pushing yourself, and to surround yourself with people who push you just as hard. It takes time, and it takes work.
And yes, it will often suck.
The best people I know are a lot of things: Talented, creative, and lucky. And nearly all have something else in common: They’re willing to go through periods where their output isn’t very good, and they’re willing to work hard to improve.
Those Silicon Valley mottos miss one key point: The only way forward is being willing to suck. If you’re just starting out, remember this: It will be a long time before your work is any good, and that’s OK.
Doing great work isn’t about failure — it’s about perseverance. You’re not failing — your work just isn’t very good yet, and there’s a difference.
They won’t put this on a bumper sticker or a poster, but it’s the truth: Be willing to suck. Adversity and struggle is how you get better. Keep at it until you get to a place where you’re doing the work you really want to do.
Unfortunately, I still suck at picking images to run with posts, so here’s a very cool (but very generic) photo of the road less traveled. This photo’s by Samuel Edwards, and was posted on Unsplash.