Photo by  Toa Heftiba  on  Unsplash

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Life is messy. Creativity is most certainly messy. And yet we strive for perfection at every turn on both.

Welcome to Messy Notes, a place that embraces the mess of creativity. Because we know that, without it, nothing truly great can ever be made.

Messy Notes is a hub for conversations around creativity. But we’re not just talking about those beautiful moments when sunlight is streaming through your windows while the work flows through your fingertips.

We’re talking about the agonizing underbelly of creativity. You know, the moments when self-doubt visits you more than the muse and you think you’ll never be able to create anything worthwhile again.

In other words, the side of creativity that no one seems to be talking about. Why?

Because we believe in a world that starts with ugly first drafts, that embraces the beautiful mess of creativity, and that supports starting more than perfection.

A Home for All Your Messy Creativity

  Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash

One-sided conversations are fun for, well, no one. Here’s how you can join the conversation and find a safe place for your own messy creativity:

  • Read the Blog
    You guys, we love comments. Love them. And it’s not just to validate that our work doesn’t suck. We want to read your comments so you can tell us how you feel about these messy parts of creativity, so you can enrich the conversation. So it can actually be a conversation. (And go ahead and tell is if you think our work sucks — it’s all part of the process.)

  • Listen to the Podcast
    There’s two of us behind this creative mess, but we know you don’t want to just hear from us. So we’re rounding up all kinds of creatives in fields from art and design to writing and more. Our podcast gets down and dirty with the truth behind what it means to lead a life of creativity.

  • Share Your Messy Notes on Instagram
    We also want to see your creative mess! Take a picture of your gloriously messy notebook, your disaster of a desk when you’re mid-creative-stream, or whatever inspires you to do the damn work. Then kindly hashtag it with #uglyfirstdrafts so we can share it and celebrate it.

Create That Beautiful Mess

A few years back, we heard a story about an adult soccer league of moms who wanted to play for fun, exercise, and, frankly, a break from the rigors of motherhood. But there was one problem: these moms were so used to feeling pressure to be perfect all the time that they played cautiously. They never really got into the game.

So one day the coach commanded to them to “roll in the mud.” He meant this literally, knowing that if they turned their perfectly crisp, white uniforms into filth then maybe they’d get out of their heads and leave it all out on the field.

It worked.

This story has stuck with us ever since. How often do you buy a beautiful notebook and then avoid writing in it because you don’t want your handwriting to mess it up? Or think of the last time you have an idea in your head that was so crystal clear you couldn’t execute on it — because you just couldn’t stand to see the ugly first iteration when you put it to paper.

It happens to all of us. But until we can get out of our heads, we’ll never overcome it. If you get nothing else from visiting Messy Notes, we hope you at least remember this:

Embrace that beautiful mess. Create that ugly first draft. Celebrate the mess so you can start sculpting it into your vision.

Roll in the mud. And know that we’ll be cheering you on when you do.