I can do anything with nothing

My friend Rocky always writes the titles of his blog posts last.

First, make the thing. Then decide what to call it. If you start with the title first, how will you avoid making design choices to fulfill the expectations of some random name?…What you call something matters. What that thing actually is, though, matters more.

I’m the opposite. I have an entire list of blog post ideas in my journal. Whenever I think of something I’d like to flesh out, I jot it in my book. As I sit down to write, I pick one and go with it. And every single one of them is basically a blog post title.

Rocky’s caution is well founded. Don’t hem yourself in. Give yourself freedom to move. Avoid confirmation bias. It’s really the reason that I never titled sermons when I was a pastor (The bulletin was submitted on Tuesday. That’s a long way away from Sunday).

But…

Restrictions are good. Parameters are good. In fact, appropriately narrow specificity is the first best thing you can do to spur and ensure the creative process. Knowing what your resource limitations are is vital to even knowing what you can accomplish.

And when someone succeeds under these conditions, the payoff is huge. They start to believe they can do work in a variety of situations. It’s like what what we used to say in the college theatre with little to no budget:

We’ve done so much for so long with so little, that now: We can do anything with nothing.

Full disclosure: I wrote the title of this post last.

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