New Year, New Mistakes

It’s a new year, complete with soul searching, taking stock, and making plans for greatness. But sometimes those plans can get derailed before we even start them…they seem too big, too silly, too weird.

There was a great article in the New York Times, by Hugo Lindgren, the editor of the Magazine (which is one of my favorite parts of Sunday). He writes about all of the ideas he had, the handfuls upon handfuls that failed to launch because he couldn’t get them written down – or, in the process of writing them they seemed so unworthy of the light.

(Did I recognize myself in this article. You betcha.)

But this quote stuck with me:

I recently saw a Charlie Rose interview with John Lasseter, a founder of Pixar, about the creative process behind his movies. Pixar’s in-house theory is: Be wrong as fast as you can. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the creative process, so get right down to it and start making them. Even great ideas are wrecked on the road to fruition and then have to be painstakingly reconstructed. “Every Pixar film was the worst motion picture ever made at one time or another,” Lasseter said. “People don’t believe that, but it’s true. But we don’t give up on the films.”

Even if it’s good – the voice, the story, the project – it’s going to be dashed to pieces and rebuilt. The rebuilding is an integral part to the process. It’s also painful and embarrassing to expose flaws to the light of day.

That’s where the courage comes in, right?

This week’s challenge (and yes, I’ll be doing it too) is to take one thing that you’re frightened of doing – sharing something you’ve written, singing in public after a hiatus, getting into the practice room – and doing it. Robert Page, a professor of mine, talked about making mistakes by saying “Make a mistake, make it loudly, and make a different one every time.” And, if you’re feeling really brave, tell me about your foray in the comments.

3 thoughts on “New Year, New Mistakes

  1. Mike Holden says:

    Thanks for posting this. I just read the Hugo Lindgren NY Times piece you referenced and it was just what I needed!

  2. Mike Holden says:

    Reblogged this on Mike Holden's blog and commented:
    A good read near the start of a new year…

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