I read this a few days ago, and I can't get it out of my head. Steve Jobs' "six pillars" of design philosophy. Here is an excerpt of an excerpt from Walter Isaacson's book:
"When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood in the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."
Reading this was like being told, "It's okay, Erin. You go ahead and wrestle with that semicolon until you know it's right. Until you know it shouldn't be a comma." I did sleep better after I got up that night and changed it, finally.
My brothers and my father can build things. Beautifully-crafted things. I can't; at least not with wood or metal, the way they do. But I can build things with words. The process is every bit as frustrating; the outcome every bit as satisfying.
Would some carpenters use the plywood? Uh, yeah. We have writers like this, too. They write factory-style, cranking out book after book to meet a demand that I will never be able to capture. And I'm at peace with that.
Before I go, two things I should make clear. I understand that my connection with the excerpt above:
- Doesn't mean I share the same level of genius as Jobs. Believe me, I get it.
- Doesn't mean I'm not a little bit nuts.
But the world needs its nuts. Doesn't it?