All You Have To Do Is Swing

Written by on Nov 4 2008

For most of us, sooner or later we hear the call. We feel inspired. We get hungry. We get sick and tired. We feel compelled to create something. We are so moved that we actually do create something. We might even finish it.

For most of us, when we reach this point, we sit on our hands. We do nothing. We shelve the project. We might be too afraid. We might have lost the inspiration. We might know that it is not ready.

And for most of us this is where it ends. With our shoulders slumped and heads low, we go back to our crappy job. We are defeated before we even swung the bat. We defeated ourselves. Mostly we are afraid of being revealed as a phony. An impostor. A talentless hack. Afraid that people will find out we are not as good as we think people think we are. As the saying goes “better to keep my mouth shut and seem wise than open it an remove all doubt. ”

Reality is different though. Authors, for example, are conditioned from the outset that the vast, vast majority of their creative work will be failure, so they keep trying. We other creatives, we technical/web creatives, are not so conditioned. We are conditioned the opposite. We read Tech Crunch or eWeek or some other rag and are taught to believe that monumental success is the goal, and if we don’t reach it than we have failed. So we become too afraid to try. We don’t have a system that teaches us that these project are outliers, that their level of success is not the norm and should not be sought. Then we listen to David of 37Signals talk about the fortune five million and we are inspired and assured that we can succeed. But what we fail to realize is that even our friends at 37Signals are outliers and their type of success need not be sought.

Perhaps the only level of success that should be sought is to finish a project and put it out there. Or even just to put it out there when it’s almost finished. Not everything you do will be used or appreciated. That is good news. What a relief to know I don’t have to hit a home run every time I step up to the plate. Thank goodness. All I have to do is step up to the plate and swing the best I can. All we have to do is show up, suit up and play our hardest. All you have to do is launch and see what happens. And then do it again. There is no end to good ideas and no end to inspiration. The end is when you don’t launch.


Hi I'm Steven,

I wrote the article you're reading... I lead the developers, write music, used to race motorcycles, and help clients find the right features to build on their product.

Get Blog Updates