The internet, by and large, is trying to keep a secret from you. They keep this secret by telling you that work is easy.
They tell you that there are three, five, ten, thirteen easy STEPS TO SUCCESS.
They tell you that somewhere in the vastness of everything that can be known there exists secret knowledge that will slay the gremlins of your ignorance, with tales of methodical behavior and self-inflicted mind games and that the efficiency — my God the efficiency — will rain a flood of immeasurable achievement upon all who follow.
The secret of course is that they’re lying.
The good part of the internet that contains Mann and Gruber and Rands will tell you so. They’re all quite good at talking about the nature of work and getting things done without mucking it up with more tips and trucks (which would be annoyingly ironic). They realize everyone has far better things to do with their time.
The secret to success is no secret. It’s just that bugaboo we call hard work.
But design as a profession can be quite closed to this idea of work and iteration. Instead we have books of inspiration and ideation conferences and functional alcoholism and recreational drugs to tell us that we’re special, and you can’t just pull a lever and do what we do because we’re not like those suits and its our hearts and souls on the line here. We bleed creativity. Can’t you see?
I guess what I’m trying to say is Frank Chimero is quite good at talking about hard work in a way that designers understand, and you should read this and everything else he writes. It’s quite nice.
C’mere. I want to tell you a secret. Something that might change how you see our profession, how you go about learning and how you perceive your position in it. Come closer. Closer, still. OK. Ready for this? OK. Here we go.