The spectrum of success and failure does not hinge on the predilections of the critic or the pressures of the market; on the contrary, the success of a work is determined by the parameters set within the work itself.
Creative Ways to Practice Without Aiming for Perfection
What is your why?: Remind yourself of why you're doing something in the first place.
"Good enough": Define what "good enough" is and strive for that good enough place.
Doing something is better than doing nothing: Remember the fact that you're trying and showing up to practice something is far better than avoiding a new activity altogether. You get to experience something, and that in itself is more important than whatever "perfect" outcome you think is out there.
Adapt! If you're struggling to make something work, be flexible and adapt your plan, your approach, and your expectations. This flexibility will help you not give up on something prematurely. Just because something doesn't come easily to you at first doesn't mean you aren't meant to continue trying. It just may mean you need to try a different approach. For example, asking for help and imparting support from others can make things go smoother and may lead to even better experiences and results.
Robert Christgau used a clever grading scale when analyzing music albums. Think about these things when you are completing your work — design can be measured according to similar criteria.
An A+ record is an organically conceived masterpiece that repays prolonged listening with new excitement and insight. It is unlikely to be marred by more than one merely ordinary cut.
An A is a great record both of whose sides offer enduring pleasure and surprise. You should own it.
An A- is a very good record. If one of its sides doesn’t provide intense and consistent satisfaction, then both include several cuts that do.
A B+ is a good record, at least one of whose sides can be played with lasting interest and the other of which includes at least one enjoyable cut.
A B is an admirable effort that aficionados of the style or artist will probably find
A B- is a competent or mildly interesting record that will usually feature at least
three worthwhile cuts.
A C+ is a not disreputable performance, most likely a failed experiment or a pleasant
piece of hackwork.
A C is a record of clear professionalism or barely discernible inspiration, but not
A C- is a regrettably successful exploitation or a basically honest but quite incompetent
stab at something more.
A D+ is an appalling piece of pimpwork or a thoroughly botched token of sincerity.
It is impossible to understand why anyone would buy a D record.
It is impossible to understand why anyone would release a D- record.
It is impossible to understand why anyone would cut an E+ record.
E records are frequently cited as proof that there is no God.
An E- record is an organically conceived masterpiece that repays repeated listening with a sense of horror in the face of the void. It is unlikely to be marred by one listenable cut.