Whistle designed by Michael Rowe from the Noun Project

Whistle designed by Michael Rowe from the Noun Project

Over at his blog, designer Craig Mod reminds us that we need to step back and refine our work from time to time:

Refinement is hard because it requires faith. Faith in the thing you’re refining — that the process of refinement will yield greater value; or faith that there is any value in the thing to begin with…

To leave something important to you unrefined — uniterated, firstdrafted — is the laziest safety net you can deploy. It’s almost lazier than not creating in the first place…

In refinement and iteration you finally get to know the thing you made. Really know it. Understand how bad it is. How great it could be. How much potential is still left unrealized. And within each iteration you move the thing forward; sometimes better, sometimes worse. But first you have to stop. If just for a moment.

Mod gives us a clear explanation here: what we release unrefined, or what we leave unrefined, always remains in a place where we’re not sure what it could become (maybe better, maybe not). The important part is to stop what we’re doing, pull back, and take some time to refine the work or our process. To do otherwise is simply lazy.


  • http://pertingomarketing.com Brenda Coonan

    I am guilty of this on a personal project level. You have made me realize how unfulfilled I will be by not completing this task. Thanks!

  • http://iconart.us/ Matthew

    This one does strike a chord. I have countless writings/drawings left unrefined. Moleskin’s full of abandoned drafts. Am I lazy? Too prolific for my own good? Too many ideas leads to indecision. But on the other hand, a large pool of ideas can let the best stand out. Thanks for the reminder to iterate and revisit.

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