If there’s nothing on your cutting room floor when you are “done”, then you probably aren’t doing your best work.
If your final product is pretty similar to your first idea then one of these is probably true:
- Your idea was a very simple one to execute.
- You don’t care too much about developing the idea.
- You should be suspicious that you didn’t do your best work.
Songs that are too long. Visuals that are too busy and confusing. Every whim and idea appears to have been deemed sacred and included.
And now your audience has to suffer.
Most great work comes from a bloodbath of bloody dead darlings flowing out of your work area. It should be a almost complete massacre. It’s your job to rescue the most valuable work before the place goes up in flames.
Sure, every once in a while you get lucky and some inspiration hits and you create something great on the first try.
But that is by far the exception, not the rule.
It has been estimated that Picasso produced about 13,500 paintings and designs, 100,000 prints and engravings, 34,000 book illustrations and 300 sculptures and ceramics.
Creators who are truly dedicated to their craft know that great work comes from a huge body of work that isn’t so great and will never see the light of day.