Last week I sent out the newsletter missing a paragraph! Oops! You can read the correction here. That mistake didn’t feel great because it was in public. But it got me thinking that as creatives the only way we learn is in public. Whether you’re writer, an actor, visual artist, or a filmmaker, you put your work out into the world and learn from each experience. The next time you and your project are even better. Every week I feel a twinge when I hit publish.
The people I think are the bravest are stand up comics. They tell stories about their own life on stage by themselves. It is the rawest kind of performance and writing combined. And stand up is created in public. Comics tell jokes, seeing what works and what flops. Constantly refining their act before it is “official” and they go on tour. The serious ones go on stage almost every night. If you live in Los Angeles or New York, you can see well known comedians working on their new acts. When I was going to a lot of stand up, I would see the same people over and over. It was fascinating how their bits changed over time.
Like stand up, this newsletter is a constant work in progress as I learn from my experience, my research, and your feedback. I really appreciate your patience when there is a mistake like last week. And I love hearing from you about what you like and don’t like.
When something doesn’t go quite right in your life or in your career, do your best to react with grace. Laugh at yourself. Pick yourself up and move on. Remember everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes they lead to a breakthrough. Penicillin was famously discovered when mold accidentally grew in a dirty Petri dish. Mistakes can fuel your creativity. One time in high school, I turned in a two part creative writing piece with the wrong part as the first page. My teacher went on and on about what a great choice that was and how it made the piece work so effectively emotionally.
Do you have any stories of mistakes that turned out to be for the best? Comment below and let me know.
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