1). Adorable ice cream shop/couple’s shoot I ruined via poor lighting
2). Hacky drawing I’d usually be way too embarrassed to show on the blog
3). Hilarious posing attempt by me
Being creative could be likened to baking cookies that everyone around you is forced to eat, no matter the results. Even if you add too much salt/ baking powder/whatever and the cookies taste totally gross you still have to watch in agony as those nearby “enjoy” them. Humiliating!
I don’t know about you but I hate looking like a total buffoon, especially in the creative fields. There is nothing worse than returning photos from a photo shoot I totally botched, or designing an event no one likes or playing a train wreck of a set in front of a crowd. It’s AWFUL. To make matters worse, not many people like putting themselves out there so defenselessly and they’d rather critique another’s budding attempts than risk creativity themselves…bleh. All these factors combined can make it incredibly intimidating and uncomfortable to experiment with your imagination, am I right?
There’s only one way I’ve found that helps me get over myself in those painful moments and it’s as simple as it is difficult: Allow yourself to make mistakes.
Even if others don’t give you permission to, give that permission to yourself. If you are a song writer, give yourself permission to write bad songs. If you are a baker, let yourself make total messes. If you are an artist, allow yourself to paint scenes destined for the trash can. Brace yourself, grit your teeth, and accept those painfully imperfect works because out of those will eventually come the masterpieces you’re going to fall in love with.
Who knows? You might even learn to make decent cookies in the process. :)
-Scott Adams (American cartoonist)