A black-and-white portrait of KenKen ZinserMake sense and make better

Sticking to it

Jeffrey Zeldman writing on the Automattic Design blog:

Never stop trying to do great work. Never get demoralized. Never stop caring. It sounds simple. It isn’t.

Career aside, if I wanted to create meaningful work, I would need to develop the patience and willingness to watch people kill my darlings, and come back with newer, fresher, better darlings. I have not done it perfectly, not by a long shot. But keeping a positive attitude when an idea I’ve fallen in love with gets rejected remains the second most important thing I can do on a daily basis as I practice my current craft.

Early on in my career, my darlings—the ideas I cared about deeply—were my tangible, visible creations. Logos, posters, books, and what not.

The trajectory of my career has me further and further away from those tangible things. I still have darlings, ideas that I protect. But they’re so far away from becoming real, and I’m two or three steps removed from those who make them tangible.

This makes it easy to keep going in the face of complexity or ambiguity, but I also wonder if it has an adverse affect on me—like I’m drifting through a subatomic realm.