Critic Gene Siskel asked the following question to determine whether a movie was worth watching: “Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?”
The mandate to creators might be: you aren’t done until your final product is more interesting than its ingredients. The raw materials: the people, the process, the stories, the histories.
This is not an easy problem to solve; every step of cooking a beautiful meal can be more arresting than what ends up on the plate.
For the frustrated creative, a deeper appreciation for your ingredients may present the path forward.