Place your worst idea here.

Many times we do work that is not quite up to snuff. It’s missing something, or is unfinished…we consider it a mistake, or just a little “off.” Since it doesn’t live up to our exacting standards, our instinct is to let no one see it, for fear that they might have the same opinion.

But are you the best person to judge? The opposite approach may be better. You’ve pulled a thought out of the air, you’ve put it down, and now it exists. To dismiss it out of hand could be a bigger mistake than the work itself. Ideas need room to breath and grow. You might find that, with a slight adjustment, that thin wisp of a thought triggers a monstrously good one. Or even, dare we say, a masterpiece.*

The best course of action? Give the piece in question the support it needs. Whether it’s a painting or a powerpoint slide, a scribble or an unfinished symphony,  we urge you to honor the work by putting a frame around it. The more ornate, the better. Once you adorn it with a classic frame, you might see that it’s really quite a marvelous piece of work. Perhaps one of your best.

Meantime, rather than chasing after success, you could make a point of pursuing failure as your avocation, like Ms. Giertz has. It’s a less crowded field, and she seems to be doing quite well with it.

*Of course, your idea could be complete shite and you may eventually throw it out. But wait at least 30 days. Call it a stay of execution.  If it still smells fetid after 30 days, think about whether doing the exact opposite might lead you somewhere interesting. There could be value in the bad that actually inspires the good.