“Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up”.
– Tate Linden
I’m re-designing my website right now. It’s an interesting experience. I joke that I’m a shitty client. I push out deadlines. I can’t make decisions. It’s humbling to be on the other side of the table.
Normally I’m a quick decision-maker. I benefit from the pressure of the last minute, and I thrive with unlimited creative boundaries.
And yet – I find myself doing anything but working on my website these days. My apartment is now spotless, my social calendar is humming, and my shredder’s been working overtime (because I just had to go through that dusty old set of file folders).
My advice to clients and friends experiencing this stuck-ness has always been “we’re not carving things in stone here”. I know the flexibility of WordPress, and I’m my own designer-on-demand should I want to change anything in the future. I have no visions of a fanfare launch, or even a deadline for that matter (my programmer might disagree).
I’m a recovering perfectionist. And I see my own projects as ‘experiments’ – where there is the freedom to do and try things that I wouldn’t for clients. Sometimes the wrongest solution is the rightest. Sometimes mistakes and “ugly” things can be very appealing. I’ve always loved unfinished works of art more than finished ones. So part of me loves being in the space where things are “in process”.
And there are gems in stuck-ness and gifts in procrastination. When we’re stuck, there is a conscious part of us that’s digging down and asking:
• where can I lift the anchors out?
• what has provided security and stability and uniformity, and what / how can I evolve these things?
• how can I bring more consciousness or light into the work I do, into my connection with people?
I recognize the hesitation and the fear we have to “get everything right’. There is a substantial investment involved for most people, and we want to make the most of it. There are examples of pixel perfect websites that we admire (sidenote: I can tell you from behind-the-scenes that some of the most-admired website have owners who have fallen out of love with them, or who also feel stuck). So I get it. As a designer, as a client, as a creative business owner.
Next time you’re feeling stuck, or nervous, or less-than-stellar about where you’re at in regards to your online presence, your design, your website…remember:
• We can’t possibly sum up something that’s constantly in motion, in growth. We wouldn’t want to!
• The opportunity design provides is to reference your past, to take a fresh look at your present and propel yourself into your future.
• Remember you are expressing your story, because that is truly the thing that will separate you from the crowd. Even stellar design falls flat after a while, when your story is the same as everyone else’s.
Here’s to getting un-stuck and moving forward, to telling your story as it’s happening…