I was listening to an interview with Aaron Walter from Mailchimp and he said something that really struck a chord with me. He drew an analogy between gardening and the creative process.
As an avid gardener, I had a draft of this post written before I heard the interview, but I had come at it from a completely different perspective - how web development was opposite of gardening. Gardening takes time, there is no way around that. You can't make a plant mature before its time. On the web I can make a change that is instantly available.
Digging a little deeper however, I like the analogy that Aarron provides better than my original point of view. At the end of each gardening calendar, I like to look back at what worked well that year and what didn't. The following season I make adjustments. Each year, I get better and my garden is more fruitful and more beautiful than the previous year. Also, each year I try something new - plants and techniques. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't, but in both cases, I've learned something that will carry to the following year.
Aarron's point of view is more satisfying. Each web project that I do is like a gardening season, I pull from past experiences to ensure that each project is a little better than the last, while at the same time trying something new. It's the combination of tested techniques for a foundation, and the ability to push the envelope in specific areas that lead to an engaging site or project.
Written by Alex Brinkman who lives and works in Denver, but plays in the mountains.