Quantity Leads to Quality

5 thoughts on “Quantity Leads to Quality”

  1. Hi Claire! 🙂

    I understand what you’re saying! I can tell you, I spent 30 years writing a LOT of crap and feeling that I was getting no\where – but I couldn’t stop. Point is, all the while that I thought I was “wasting” my life, I was instead “honing” my skills. I didn’t know it until I started to produce quality, which kept getting better.

    So, yes, I agree. Quality is wonderful, but most times it takes a lot of quantity to get there.

    I’m sure most will get it when they think it through – you put it most clearly.

    Cheers to you! 🙂

  2. I wrote a huge long response to your earlier posting of this story, but when I looked at it later, most of it wasn’t worth reading.

    In his book “Weird Ideas That Work,” Robert I Sutton argues that one of the characteristics of effective innovation is a high failure rate. He provides many historical examples. A high failure rate implies that much activity is required in order to achieve success.

    He also argues (and I am not sure that I agree) that successful artists through the ages did not create works with a higher success rate than other artists, but that they created more works, the same percentage of which were successful. Doing more leads to more successful doing, in other words.

    I still think that the great composers (since music is the art form I know best) had greater skill, and thus a higher success rate, but there is still something to what Sutton says. Also, innovation is not the same as creativity, so we can’t necessarily assume that the same principles apply to both.

    Have you ever read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?” In it Pirsig takes up the question “What is quality?” I have found that pursuit of the question “Is what I am doing inspired?” to be a similarly valuable mantra.

    I believe that it’s not about finding the right answers, but asking the right questions.

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment! I haven’t read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but it’s on my reading list, especially now that you mentioned it. No doubt that talent helps artists create masterpieces, but it’s encouraging to know that hard work and practice makes a difference, too,since we can actually control those things 🙂

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