. . . AND RECEIVE THE GIFT OF LOVE
How do you give your self (it’s two words, on purpose) to the wind? Finish your stuff, I tell you. And be willing to be vulnerable! When you finish, though, you are very likely to fail. In fact, you can really suck! Your art, your book, your music, your crocheted or knitted piece, or even your book report for school, if you’re still in school — can really be awful. But, finishing it is important. We could fail. We can get an “F” or we can have no one buy our art, our book or our music. That’s okay.
We hate to fail!
No one likes to fail. We don’t want to be failures. People like winners. True. No one wants to be the last one in the race. Few people want to come in fourth at the Olympics. They don’t get a medal. But what they did get was experiencing the Olympics! How good must they be to make it through all the competitions and trials to get to the Olympics in the first place?
Failing and being a failure are two different things, however. Failing is a temporary thing. In fact, failing a bunch of times is how you eventually get better.
Failing is learning. “Oh! How interesting! That didn’t work. I’ll try something else.”
Failing is helping other people learn. “Wow. Look what they tried! Let’s see if we can do it better or differently.”
Failing is winning the game of perseverance. Gaining strength. Experiencing grit. Knowing how golly gosh darn badly you want something.
Failing is a gift.
Unfortunately, failing multiple times can keep some of us from finishing. We grow tired of the skinned knees, the broken airplanes (Wright Brothers), the cotton gin that breaks (Eli Whitney) and the telephone that doesn’t ring (Alexander Graham Bell). We give up. We will not finish that book. We will never hear the musical piece. We leave our sculpture in a heap of rocks and rubble, and we will punch a hole in the painting. No one will ever experience your novel, your Mona Lisa, your Nutcracker Suite, your David statue, or maybe your computer application.
So you are not John Steinbeck or Leonardo da Vinci? You are not Tchaikovsky or Michelangelo? Did they think they were when they created their works? How would they know in the beginning if they did not finish anything?
Every one of the artists you know didn’t know they were any good when they started. John Steinbeck was rejected dozens of times. Starving artists starve for a reason. Are they failures?
Here’s the deal. These creatives are failures if they measure success by money and fame. Many of the famous artists never saw fame or fortune while they were alive, so they did not think they were any good!
Fail. Fail often. Keep writing, painting, making music, sculpting, and inventing. Give your self your work and your you-ness to the wind… and receive the gift of love.