Quantity, not quality
With my writing, I’ve been inspired by the below story, which I’ve stumbled upon a number of times over the last few months. Here’s an excerpt of the story from Art and Fear—
A ceramics teacher announced he was dividing his class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right graded solely on its quality.
His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an A, 40 pounds a B, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an A.
Well, come grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity!
Forcing yourself to produce more, pushes you to explore concepts or ideas that would not normally have surfaced. It also allows you make more mistakes and learn from those failures. In the end, I believe it gives you a much greater chance of creating exceptional work.
So, with that in mind, my goal is to write every day. A lot of what I write will suck. That’s okay — in fact, it’s good! I know I’ll end up producing a few pieces that are good — and over time, the median quality of my work will increase substantially.