Don’t Worry, Be Crappy

Break Through the Mundane

Guy Kawasaki was right. He was addressing the topic of innovation. He was explaining that when innovators take the jump to the next curve of innovation they create something new, something with new meaning, and they sometimes come up against the element of crappyness.  When you are working to get to the next curve in your creativity, taking the leap to the next level, you may be faced with crappyness – and it’s easy to let it discourage you.

Recently I spent a bright afternoon people watching and painting and playing some great music. As I started painting I had control and was firm with how I wanted to progress. I started carefully laying down layer after layer, appreciating how the colors were interlocking and interacting. But it just wasn’t working. Technically it was okay, but not great, so I just let go of my expectations. I had some fun, slinging color across canvas. Adding an unplanned element.  Now I have a canvas wet with color that marks an afternoon of joy. Not where I thought I was headed but that’s okay. That experience has helped me make a jump.

Do you feel discouraged in your creativity? Does that scarf you visualized actually look like a warped clump in your crochet basket? (Been there, done that.) Or does that chapter you wrote plod along with no joy, no magic? That’s okay. Keep trying. When you get back to it, you may find some spark comes alive. Or you may find that you love the engagement. Time spent with your words or your paints, time with your needles, with your baking or paper crafts. That engagement moves you along, and sometimes, that’s enough.

Guy Kawasaki’s TEDxBerkeley talk – his advice to innovators to “Don’t Worry, Be Crappy” starts at the 9:24 mark.

3 comments… add one
  • Such truth and what a fun example. It reminds me of one of my favorite Julia Child quotes which was basically ‘in cooking you have to have a what the hell attitude’. That’s when creativity gets good… Or at least as you stated- joyful!

  • Maryann

    Cynthia, I watched Guy Kawasaki just now on YouTube. Yes, he is so inspiring as you are. It’s as if we have to blow away our barriers to creativity and they will dissipate easily, if not our barriers will seem like an enclosing prison.

  • Lovely. Thank you. My creativity feels a little blocked these days. The idea of an isle in the backyard excites me… I’ve never been a painter… maybe something new is just what I need.

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