Stewing in the Question

I’m trying to redesign a newsletter. Not as in “make it look pretty” — I’m no longer foolish enough to believe I can do that. That’ll be for a pro to handle. No, what I’m trying to do is come up with a new, hopefully more engaging structure, and it’s eating me alive.

“Should I put the quote section above or below this other one? Do I make the buttons big or small? How many sections in total? What order? How often will I send it? Aaaaaaaahhhh!!”

Yesterday, I spent something to the tune of five hours on this project. As I was walking home, thoughts still whirring around margins and layouts and titles, I wished I could be done. I wished I had answers. “I just need a final structure! Why is this so hard?”

It’s hard because it’s a creative decision. There are no right and wrong answers. Eventually, I’ll just have to settle on a structure and see how people react. But as I was coming to terms with the fact that I’m not yet ready to make that decision, I remembered something else: Time solves everything. So what if I just allow myself to stew a little longer in the question?

For the rest of the day, I took it easy. I didn’t brush aside new thoughts about the project, but I also didn’t zone in on them when they came. It felt like I could have worked another 48 hours straight on it and wouldn’t have made any further progress. But lo and behold, eight hours of sleep later, I had new ideas — but also a new willingness to wrestle with this issue.

Time answers every question. Sooner or later, it will provide a response. Sometimes, the best thing you can do in the meantime is admit that you don’t have one yet. Keep stewing in the question. Even if it’s a little too hot to be comfortable, we all know a good broth needs to boil a while before it’s done.