Let’s face it. Creation is all about revision, that’s the nature of the beast. You create something and then you tear it down about seventeen times before you end up with something you might find passable. Doesn't matter if you're a designer, a developer, or even worse... a writer. When it comes to being creative, we are all our own worst nightmares.

So how do you solve it? How do you slay this mythical beast that is your own self-imagined heckler, buried deep in the bowels of your mind?

Well I don’t actually know.

If I did, I wouldn’t be on my eighth version of this piece. (Just nine more to go!)

What I can tell you however, is how to survive it. Because like the zombie apocalypse, there’s never really a cure to turn everyone off of people-eating. There is however, a handy shotgun that lets you send them flying back a couple of feet with a satisfying boom.

###You’re Actually Not Bad At What You Do

Because if you were, you wouldn’t be doing it. Fear is crippling, and when you’re trying to be creative, that fear is multiplied ten folds. That’s why we do revisions, because we think, or we know that our first run at it isn’t good and we need to improve it. The problem begins when you keep trying to improve it and every revision leads to another. Revision hell is then essentially a merry-go-round, you’re always going somewhere, but you’re never getting anywhere. The only real way to getting around that road block is to just remind yourself that if your work was actually bad, no one would be asking, let alone paying you to do it.
###Put Down The Shotgun… I Mean... Keyboard and Move Away From the Computer

Seriously, get away from it. Looking over your work for the thirteenth straight time won’t help. It hasn’t changed on it’s own. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution doesn’t apply to your word document or lines of code. At some point, your constant revisions just ends up making things worse. Take a break, maybe eat a Kit-Kat, that’s all up to you, but stay away from your work for at least an hour. Fresh eyes makes everything better, and that’s even more so for revisions.


Just as Paul McCartney so eloquently put it, you need somebody. Preferably somebody you trust to look over your work and give you an honest opinion, an opinion that you should in turn respect and actually listen to. At some point, your own eyes only tell you so much. Constructive criticism is constructive, and everyone should get in on it. Being your own work, your mind will naturally pre-dispose you to be biased in judging, either too favourably or too harshly. Bringing someone in gives you an outside view, a mind that hasn’t been warped by the horrors in your own that it took to get whatever you’ve created… created.


Revisions aren’t fun, there’s no getting around that. You’re taking something you’ve created and slamming into the ground to see if it holds up. That kind of self-inflicted abuse will take its toll on anyone. Your best bet is to not let it get to you. Much like taking on hordes of the living dead, you need to be cold and surgical about it. This isn’t your puppy you’re trying to potty train. This is a horrible monstrosity that you need to put down and reign in. Load up your shotgu---tool of choice and get to work.

This is a guest post by
Jesse Shen, a writer, communicator, and current Marketing Intern for Full Stack. He is not a zombie.