Content from 2022-09
There's this timeless idea of delaying gratification. I want to narrow down a subset of this concept; validation. The two are intertwined in creative exercise, when you make something there is a burning desire to share it with others. The problem arises when the creation is half-baked, incomplete or low-quality. The craving for validation is weak, but enough to urge occasional spontanous creative delves. To maintain that initial level of dedication and quality for any reasonable period of time is impossible. The process will be thoroughly unenjoyable as the focus will shift to the product. This shift accentuates the need for instant validation which leads to a pre-emptive publication of sub-par material. Nobody wins. A deepening sense of dissatisfaction will tug at the consciousness, and the audience will be disappointed at best. The core of the problem is not the craving for validation, but rather the failure to supress it. Too much or too little validation is detrimental, so too from the wrong sources.
I think an illustration of a symptom of this, (taking note of the broader context within this article) was best made by phf on #pest in the short form of a quote from Ivan Chesnokov;
"WHY YOU WANT RAIL FOR KALASHNIKOV? IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH AS PROCURED FROM IZHEVSK MECHANICAL WORKS?"
"RIFLE IS FINE. YOU FUCK IT, IT ONLY GET HEAVY AND YOU STILL NO HIT LARGEST SIDE OF BARN. GO TO FIRING RANGE, PRACTICE WITH MANY MAGAZINE OF CARTRIDGE. THEN YOU NOT NEED DUMB SHIT PUT ON SIDE OF RIFLE."
But just how much validation is actually required to sustain creative exercise?
This is a difficult thing to answer, I am inclined in the direction of a metric over time in proportion to work achieved; the most work that can be achieved is when large volumes of validation are recieved after a long period of time, ideally upon completion of the project in question. Anything shorter tends to stunt creativity due to the aforementioned conflict with process and product. This of course, imposes an artifical barrier to tasks inherently reliant on feedback for their completion, (not unlike programming or design) which is when the challenge of discipline comes in.
I am not deluded; There are no shortcuts to discipline. It is simply an accumulation of moments of self-control, of which there is no magic pill, and no margin for error.
tl;dr: stop fucking talking about doing shit and just do it.