Sometimes I still see the fear of beginning, adding or correcting something in my writing. What it could be stemming from is maybe the fear of investing time but still getting it wrong. Because I know that if I don’t do any (more) work, I’m going to feel bad because to not create is painful, and to have unfinished work when I have ideas, is also painful.
But I don’t want to create with mistakes.
So maybe the solution when creating is to embrace making mistakes. Besides, if I keep thinking, “Don’t make a mistake,” it’s like telling myself, “Don’t think of a pink elephant.” It’s gonna happen and you’re not going to like it. I failed a driving test because I kept thinking about not hitting a cone when parallel parking.
When I played piano, one of the reasons I didn’t want to sit practical exams was because I didn’t want to make a mistake in front of some snooty examiner. I wanted to be perfect. When I played around on piano, guitar or recorder, the point wasn’t to be perfect. It is was to have fun. Mistakes were welcomed. A sour note or two or ten were welcomed. But I don’t think I’ve been living life this way, and it shows in my ambivalence in writing.
Also, consider that you play the piano. You don’t work it. You don’t strive it. It’s supposed to be fun, and that attitude could’ve done wonders for me back in the day.
Sometimes the ambivalence makes me question if I really want to write, which is pretty laughable. I start to forget the fun I had in university with my friends writing poetry on WritersCafe. I forget how deliriously happy I was when I started screenwriting. I forgot the relief I felt when I started writing on Medium six months ago.
The secret back then is just as I wrote above. There’s a pleasure in it. I’m present. I don’t fear a mistake but the point is to do the task at hand. If a mistake occurs, it’s not the end of the world because you can correct yourself. You’re only human, after all.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill
One half of the reason one is successful is due to genuine interest in the activity. The other half is because of error. No one begins a task and executes it to perfection the first time. Skills have to be built, even when there is latent talent.
Ultimately, the one who can embrace failure, is the one who is close to mastery.