Diamonds in the mine – you have to sift a lot of soil to find the diamonds

I just read this fantastic story from “Art and Fear” by David Bayles and Ted Orland.  Something we all need to remember!

“On the first day of class, a ceramics teacher announced that he was sorting his students into two groups. Half the students would be graded on the quantity of works produced, the other half on the quality of just one work.

On the final day of class, the instructor looked at the pots from both groups and realized that the best pots — those with the most creative designs and those that seemed most beautiful — all came from the group graded on quantity.

As the authors put it: “It seems that while the ‘quantity’ group was busily churning out piles of work — and learning from their mistakes — the ‘quality’ group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.”

There’s no point working a long time on 5 average songs, much better to work quickly on 100 and end up with 2 brilliant songs.  It’s not just my opinion.  Master artists from all ages repeat these types of stories. You will not achieve perfection through only working on one song.  You must learn by finishing and moving on.  It’s actually the way you achieve something brilliant, something of great quality.  After all, the best ideas often come quickly, even if you fiddle with them over time.  You need many songs in the pot.



Jen, coach, teacher, free spirit, interested in art, philosophy, truth, freedom, helping people.

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