Ruthlessness and fighting for it

You Are Not Ruthless Enough:

Being ruthless to yourself means every time you say “oh, I’ll just open up this internal bit over here…” use that moment to give yourself whatever negative feedback you need to go back and write the correct interface. Imagine the bugs you’ll get later. Give yourself a 12 volt shock through your chair. Picture the sleepless nights chasing down an issue that only happens for that one guy but it’s the guy who signs your paycheck.

I dropped this in my drafts folder months ago and came back to it today. It’s still something I need to hear. Get it working, and then ruthlessly edit and refactor until it’s code that won’t cause you to cringe when others bring it up.

In improv and code, I’ve recently come across the notion that there are things we need to fight for. Fight, not in the sense of conflict, but in the sense that there is an easy or natural way to do something, and then there is the way that maintains our sense of pride and quality. Not necessarily the “right” or high-minded way to do something, but the way that does not leave us feeling compromised as a creative person.

Your homework is to write down the qualities important to you, the ones that make you proud of your work and happy to share it. Then work from this checklist every day:

  1. Write the code, rehearse the scene, play the song, etc.
  2. <li>Decide whether it expresses your qualities.</li>
    <li>If it does, ship it. If it doesn't, edit ruthlessly until it does.</li>

Rinse/repeat/tell everyone about it.

Adam Keys @therealadam