I took a shortcut yesterday in a project chapter for the book I’m doing. Rationally, the decision was a good one that introduced a whole new facet to the project. Irrationally, it’s eating at me.

The details wouldn’t mean much here, but here’s the Reader’s Digest version: With time growing short I decided to change the focus of one of the projects from my original idea to a different one. Same project, same function, but the new version represents a different aspect of the same project that is actually more fitting for the book. Further, the resulting project actually turns out to be more unique than the usual, over-represented reproduction I had originally intended to include. That is, the reproduction I originally intended to do is fairly common, while the new one – though not really “rare” in that sense of the word – fits better in the context of the overall theme of the book and the range of projects included.

If I had thought of it first, there’d be no problem. But I didn’t; I thought of the other one first. That really shouldn’t matter, as this one is more fitting to the book, a better reproduction of the period to represent, and would give the reader a unique project to do. What’s more, because the joinery is a bit simpler, it’s an easier project. In reality, that makes it yet another plus for the book, as the skill level of much of the intended readership is in the beginner to intermediate range.

So to make a long story short, the resulting list of positives from making the change is impressive; I’d consider myself a merry man if I’d thought of doing it first. But I didn’t, so it’s eating at me.

In spite of all the benefits of going this new direction – including saving some time – I can’t shake the nagging feeling that I’m taking an easier route just to save some time.

Till next time,



  • Lee Gordon says:

    Do you suppose the guy who invented the wheel was kicking himself for being lazy because it was only after he had been dragging stuff on the ground that he came up with a better way to move it?
    As you know, in my business (advertising) there’s practicaly nothing better than “New and Improved.” In your case, you came up with something that, in the words of Tom Waits, is “new, it’s improved, it’s old-fashioned.”

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