So I was just reading this article on erasing the eraser, the importance of seeing your errors in education. The article ends claiming this is too extreme and points to IT as being the future and asking if we are going, “ban the delete key”. To which I say YES!
Okay what I really mean is well ALL should be using non-destructive version control. Be it the automated service provided by Google Docs or the brilliant FlashBake (writer friendly frontend for GIT). As any scholar, historian, translator or editor will tell you the history of a document is extremely important. Many modern writers are actually saving their repositories and digital drafts with historians or their lawyers.
The digital snapshots are a million times more valuable than rough drafts because in frequent systems like Google Docs we can see the tempo of a document. We can see the shape of a work form and this is critical not only for studying and dissecting this piece but for inspiring others. Too often the learners and amateurs look upon a completed work and see the unattainable.
My own art skills are terrible but a combination of discovering Elfwood, a precursor to DeviantArt with sooo much bad fantasy art, and early webcomics was critical to me producing my own work. Looking at the newest strip from an artist I was intimidated or blown away, but seeing their first early strips I’m encouraged.
Likewise I submit most things to Github publically when I can because uploading my bad code and pointing to old hobby projects from high school, like this Lava openGL intro laba> project, may seem terrible and pointless but it’s not. That is code I would never “show off” being old and thrown together for a lab but the fact it's out there on the internet shows that there is a spectrum of code.
Likewise there is a spectrum or art, maths, writing and all other professions. Too often our pride and fear make us discard our drafts and hide our imperfections from the world. Reinforcing this myth of talent, black & white, amauteaur & professional. Hiding the timeline of progress, the 10’000 hours between sucking and being awesome.
So version control all your work, not just your code. Save your drafts, and if your can publish your progress. Leave your footprints, for others to follow you up the mountain towards success.