Listening Out Loud

This week I landed a few pieces of equipment for Display. This is my first attempt a podcast and certainly the first time I’ve even recorded myself doing anything. After testing some thoughts and playing them back to myself I learned something interesting.

A very simple way to discover weak points in an idea is to record yourself talking about them and play them back.

This might seem self-evident but there is a critical benefit that we tend to overlook. Self-critiquing is one of the absolute hardest things to learn how to do well. It requires a particular balance. You can’t be too heavy in your self-critique to the point of self-deprecation and crippling doubt. You lose focus and end up back at square one. It becomes arduous to finish anything and elusive to find joy in your work.

On the opposite end, however, is being too easy on yourself. You get attached to an idea or concept. You go through the emotional steps to build something and know that, at some point, it seemed like the best idea you’ve ever had. We’ve all read dozens of books and articles about visionary creatives who didn’t let up on their ideas and found wild success. In the end, you don’t look at the problem areas and fix what’s broken, or if necessary, change gears and branch off to something a bit unknown.

For whatever inexplicable reason, recording and playing back your ideas is a great way around these pitfalls. You aren’t obsessing over your ideas or what you want to say next. By switching chairs and dedicating your focus on listening and analysis, you unveil the weak points.┬áIt’s a simple strategy with a great ROI.

So try it out. Record yourself pitching an idea, talking about your design or conversing with someone about a project. You’ll hear a lot more than you do when it’s all in your head. And for overactive creative minds, a simple trick like this can make a huge difference.

Nobody Cares if you Fail

Unless you’re already a major success, people don’t really care if you fail. Worst case scenario, they just don’t pay attention to you. That’s a blessing. To be able to create and test things out without the terrible consequences of public scorn is an opportunity.