I've been trying to refine a concept I've been thinking about recently: a justification for allowing ourselves to enjoy things without expectations. This morning I think I managed to articulate it as part of an unsolicited advice tweet to an acquaintance feeling stuck with his photography skills:[1]

You're allowed to do things for the impact they have on you; not just the other way around.

We can write bad poetry, make lackluster paintings, and take mediocre photographs, all with the intent that they'll make us better; not that we'll make them better.

We don't even need to produce anything at all for something to be worthwhile. It's okay just to watch films, read books, have thoughtful conversations, and admire art.[2]

It's less important we make creative things, and more important we let creative things make us.

  1. He politely told me the tweet didn't actually help him. You can't win 'em all. ↩︎

  2. Scott Santens wrote about this beautifully in a UBI advocacy piece, "The Quentin Tarantino Argument for UBI" ↩︎