No, No, No.. I don’t mean me personally, well maybe…
I mean I prefer quality over quantity.
I think there’s an old saying about that, but I digress!
So you’re probably going to think I’ve lost my mind when I say today is all about “Frequency before Excellence.”
Hear me out.
This is another concept from the three-day virtual conference that rang true for me, and that I’m going to adopt.
I’d like to suggest it for you as well. However, we do have to dig below the surface to understand why.
So, what do you mean, V?
Let’s take a look…
“Quality over Quantity” OR “Frequency before Excellence.”
Those two phrases couldn’t be more different. Especially when it comes to your creative work.
Let’s get the quality over quantity loop out of the way first. Yes, I prefer to do quality work, and provide quality art to my patrons. You probably do too! Our name is on it. We want them to love and enjoy our work. We want it to stand the test of time and bring them joy for years to come.
Now the meaning of “quality” can certainly be argued and may differ depending on the audience. After all, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder! But I’m not talking about subjective, aesthetic quality here. I’m talking about the objective quality of our craft…well thought out, done the best that we can, with good quality materials.
I’m all for doing it right!
Ya gotta start somewhere.
The only time I would suggest putting your “concern over quality” to the back is when you first start out. You must start somewhere. Everyone starts…and often, it ain’t pretty! If you’re concern over quality is stopping you from even practicing your creative craft, allow me to make a suggestion! It’s better to DO SOMETHING and have it out there than to do nothing at all. I don’t want you to be so intimidated by your pursuit of perfection that it’s easier to do nothing.
Indeed, you have to start somewhere. And you’ll probably start while you’re still bad at it. As Jon Acuff says, be brave enough to be bad at something new…wait…
Anyone else experiencing de ja Vue? I think I said that last week!
And it still stands!
So yes, at the very least create something. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m not suggesting you turn a blind eye to quality. I’m saying, create the best that you can with the resources and skill that you have.
I found some pretty shocking statistics online!
- If you never start, and never practice your creative craft, you have a 100% chance of still being bad at it next year.
- If you start, and keep practicing your creative craft, you have a 100% chance of being better at it next year.
OK, not so shocking! Bad joke!
The point is, the goal should always be continual improvement. The more you do, the better you will get.
AH HA! So V, what you’re saying is…
It’s not “quantity” necessarily, but it’s about consistency. Right?
Yep! You got it! And what’s another way of saying that? Practice your craft frequently!
So don’t think of it as quantity. Don’t think of it as putting out as much as possible! Rather, think of it as consistency or frequency! To break it down, it’s not about “how much” but about “how often.” To get good at anything, you must do it frequently. Which brings us full circle to “Frequency before Excellence.”
Notice I said “before” not “instead of.” It’s frequency BEFORE excellence. Which means that at some point you will most likely be making excellent work…frequently!
You see, I believe in the “Both/And” world. I have never been a fan of the “Either/Or” mentality. I truly believe you can create both quality and quantity.
Here’s the thing – we all probably start out with a bit more quantity than quality in our creative endeavors. Let me put your mind at ease and tell you that this is normal. You must keep practicing in order to get better. The quality will come, but only through consistently showing up and doing the work, just a little at a time. Excellence will come but only by frequently trying and building your talent piece by piece.
Frequency comes before excellence. That’s good news! Frequency will lead to excellence. Hopefully that little bit of wisdom will help you to stay motivated, to show up, and to keep trying.
A few minutes at a time…
The best news of all is that your frequent trips to your workspace don’t have to be long, drawn-out sessions. Even a few minutes, done consistently, can add up to huge gains! 5 to 10 minutes of consistent practice each day will lead to big achievements.
So, here’s your challenge for this week. What have you been longing to become “good” at? (And yes, I know you don’t end a sentence with a preposition! We’re being informal here, mm-kay?)
We talked about commitment last week. What’s that thing? Can you give it 5 or 10 minutes of practice each day? Maybe every other day?
Drop a note in the comments and tell me what you will devote a few minutes to every day in order to inch closer to excellence. Say it out loud to me and the world. Tell us what you will do and how frequently you will do it. Or join my private Facebook group, Virginia’s Studio Cats and let us help you stay consistent with encouragement and support.
We’ll be exploring more topics in the coming weeks to help you with your creative practice. In the meantime, join me LIVE on my Facebook page, Virginia Leigh Studio, at 3:00 pm Central every Wednesday to ask questions and talk creativity.
Find more purpose and meaning in your day!
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