Many artists prefer perfecting what they do, doing it over and over for years until they get it right, and then finally putting it out in the world. That's insanity. Can you imagine anything less efficient? There's not enough time in life to quest for perfection. Every creator needs to have a wake of work following them wherever they go. Which is impossible to accomplish if you're paralyzed in the pursuit of the creative ideal. If you're someone who would rather show nothing than show work that’s less than your best, being prolific is out of the question. It's understandable that you want to put your best foot forward, but you’ll never impact anyone by putting no foot forward.
PROXY -- A contextual, conceptual or physical prototype that does a lot of the strategic heavy lifting for you
The greatest competitive advantage you have as a creator is, they’ve heard of you before. Who's heard of you? If the answer is, not the right people, figure out how to get on the runway. Instead of building a hype engine around your idea, physically make the damn thing. Build a prototype people can smell and touch. That way, when the time comes, you can slap it down on the table and establish instant credibility in this moment. That’s not high concept, that’s high context. And it’s what makes your work stick.
My first book wasn’t a literary masterpiece. Clocking in at just under a hundred pages, and considering the number of typos, poor grammar and rambling stories contained within, it's embarrassing to even flip through it anymore. But that little book did something for me that nothing else could have done. It got me on the runway. It launched my career, built my brand and altered the vector of my creative life forever. Now I had something to do the talking for me. A hundred page calling card. A proxy that could do a lot of the heavy lifting before I opened my mouth. And nobody could take it away from me.
Prolificacy hinges on the power of one. All you need is your first thing. Something, anything, that you can point to. A proxy you can hold up and say, this is me, this is my work. Are you so afraid of not putting your best foot forward, that you're not putting any foot forward?
Give yourself the competitive advantage of memorability
Create a proven track record of work following you wherever you go
Make your personal brand more compelling to key players in your industry
Create a reputation that accurately describes you, often precedes you and profitably serves you