One of my favorite quotations of all time was noted by Czeslaw Milosz in his book "The Captive Mind." It's a book about artists and intellectuals living under Communism in the early 1950s. Milosz attributed the epigram below to an ancient Jew from Galacia.
"When someone is honestly 55% right, that's very good and there's no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it's wonderful, it's great luck, and let him thank God. But what's to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever says he's 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal."
As a creative, I struggle with showing my own creative work. Work that I sit down and write--often by myself. Often in the early morning when I type and where the only other sound's the sweep of easy wind and downy flake.
Even though I am a "boss," have written approximately 10,000 ads, and have been doing this for almost 33 years, I get nervous even when I show something as dopey as a banner.
I guess the reason I like the quotation above is that it describes how I feel when I do work.
I don't show things I don't think are good. I don't comment on things just for the sake of speaking. But still, who can be sure?
That's why I struggle.
What if it sucks.
So often our job is to put ourselves out there. To try to solve something tough and intractable. And maybe it's a bit like baseball, where you're a great success if you hit the ball safely three times out of 10.
So I struggle. Struggling with whiffing seven times out of 10.
Even when I come through, which often do, I struggle.
Because putting yourself out there, exposing yourself, is never easy and opens you up. It makes you vulnerable.
But I guess that's ok.
After all, it's life.