A few days ago my friend said to me “I’m just so frustrated that when I try I still screw up.”
I smiled at him and said “Of course you do. That’s the whole point.”
And it’s true.
Doing nothing leads to making no mistakes, but any time you try ANYTHING, you are going to screw it up, at least a little bit. Even the most beautiful art in the world is riddled with mistakes, false starts, and disappointment.
The only way you can get anywhere good is by trying, and trying by definition means you will fail. I fail ALL the time. I have never had a book outline that didn’t get blown up while I was writing the book, and I’ve never had a book that I sent to the editor thinking it was perfect.
More importantly, my editor has never given me back a book saying there were no corrections to be made. Every artist I’ve ever worked with has changed panel descriptions to fit the story, and I’ve had to rewrite every script I’ve sent out once I saw the final panels.
Yes, the final product is wonderful, but it’s not the exact thing I set out to make. It never will, because there will be mistakes and corrections along the way.
Wow, thinking about that makes me realize just how many mistakes I make on a regular basis. My goal is to not make the same mistake twice, or barring that three times, or barring– well you get the picture.
There are a million mistakes folded into life because there are a million things you have to try if you want to grow.
Mistakes are baked into the cake of trying, even when you know what you’re doing. When you don’t know what you’re doing, there are going to be even more mistakes because you’re still trying to figure it out.
I’m not saying mistakes are fun. They always make you feel bad in the moment, but you should be celebrating them, because mistakes mean you are trying, and trying means you are growing. On the other side of growth is success, maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually, and that’s the goal after all, isn’t it?
I write cool things, filled with monsters, humor, action, adventure, and generally awesomeness. Then, I sell those things to humans. I am pretty good at it.