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Avoiding the Etch a Sketch Ending

23. December 2009 by thebeebs 2 Comments

etch Sometimes you take a look at a program and think: wouldn’t it be much easier to start again rather than build on what is already there. Starting with a blank canvas on which you can draw your own idea is tempting, because the perfectionist inside you wants to do things your way.


I remember being 10 years old and trying to draw a tractor on an etch a sketch, I gradually started at the wheels and tried to get the tread right, but I kept messing it up and shaking the damn thing and starting again. After about 2 hours I'd managed to produce a really cool looking tire but then I realised I made it too big to fit the rest of the tractor into the screen.


My friend in the meantime had managed to draw a picture of a house and a little drawing of a guy breaking into the upstairs window, his picture wasn’t incredible but it was finished. My tractor wasn’t anywhere close to being finished but I reckoned it would take me another few hours tomorrow. The next day I was bored of the tractor and started to draw a house with a guy trying to rob it.


In all my years of etch a sketch ownership I don’t think I ever finished a picture and I never got any good.


If you want to be good then you need to avoid starting again. Using what you already have and building on it will produce a better result than throwing everything away.


I’m going to redesign this blog over the next few weeks, but I’m trying hard to avoid an etch a sketch ending, I’m going to build on what I have and get some value from all that previously expended energy.


Now I'm not saying that I expect the design to be better in quality terms then if I started from scratch, but I bet I will actually get it done by following this approach. I don’t want to end up with another half finished picture of a tractor.


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