How big is your reject pile?

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People are so obsessed with getting the “right” ideas.

Instead, it is often much more effective to just have LOTS of ideas. This makes the likelihood that at least some of those ideas will be of high quality significantly more likely.

A great example of this is professional artist Drew Dernavich, known for his numerous New Yorker cartoons, who shared a picture on instagram of his “Reject Pile”:


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A post shared by drewdernavich (@drewdernavich)

Here is a view of two piles of his finished cartoons: Those with a “Yes” eventually were published by the magazine. Those with a “No” were submitted but rejected.

reject pile

As you can see, the pile of rejected ideas is significantly larger.

This will be the case for almost every truly creative person.

It is also the nature of creativity, not all ideas are winners.

But if you are willing to put in the work, and put your ideas out there, it is the only way that some of them will eventually get noticed.

Many thanks to Seth Godin and his book The Practice for highlighting Drew’s image.

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