Building Is Not Creating.
Building is working really hard. Creating is the gift of vision.
The first type is heads down, solving a problem, tweaking something until it feels just right. Whether that’s code, or design, or tweaking that synth in a song panned just to the right so it hides perfectly under the hi-hat.
In this type of creation, I feel the siren call of a vision, pulling me closer and closer to bringing it into the world. I can toil away for hours, literally until the sun comes up without noticing my body aching or the biological mandate to sleep. Building like this is hard work, but gives your creativity a channel for expression.
This feeling is invigorating and inspiring and makes me feel powerful.
The second, the other, type of building is organizational. Maybe even structural. This is the type of building that I hate. It feels messy. It looks messy. The complexity of organizations is complicated. It can never be elegant. In this type, I need to get you, you, and you aligned with my objectives so my team can check the boxes that we set out to check by the end of the quarter.
This feeling is tiring and uninspiring and makes you feel selfish against your will.
I love building in service of creating.
Creating at its essence is a complex and beautiful act that only asks for dedication in exchange for the feeling of being alive. And though we’ve all felt it, not all creating feels like this.
Building is the dedication part. It can require long hours and focus that you don’t want to spend. You may have to coordinate more things than you want to. Managers are usually tasked with doing the non-creative part of building all the damn time. And it is merit-worthy, because it allows others to more easily access that creative zone.
I get it, but the organizational, managerial, structural stuff isn’t for me. I’d rather work on a small team where management is a minimal, precise, and interesting aspect of creating.
I’m a creator. I know what management looks like, and I may even be good at it, but I am and will always be a creator first.
Do more creating with Backpack — coming in 2018.
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