How can we benefit from making mistakes?
In her article “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently,” Carolyn Gregoire writes, “Resilience is practically a prerequisite for creative success, says [psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman].
“Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks, and creatives — at least the successful ones — learn not to take failure so personally.”
From my article Mistakes Fuel Creativity and Innovation – which includes this image of a conceptual ‘bridge to nowhere’ – click the image to read about it.
Psychologist Sharon Barnes works with creative, sensitive, intense, gifted children and adults.
She writes about this topic in an article on her site – here is an excerpt:
Have you ever started a creative project that went so badly you trashed it?
I have–more times than I’d like to admit.
I had heard that mistakes can be our finest learning experiences, but I’d not relished that idea until I reclaimed one of my discarded pieces, and unexpectedly discovered how to reclaim my life, too.
An hourglass quilt block I had made from scraps contained too many mistakes to use, so I pitched it.
The triangles didn’t have points; I could have done better when I was nine years old.
The parallel lines weren’t parallel–they would have made a good class project for “Principles of Perspective in Art.”
In one place, the fabric ran out before it reached the edge of the block.
It was beyond repair. Toss it, I must.
But before garbage pick-up day, I needed a piece of fabric to practice on, and I didn’t want to waste new fabric.
Aha! I had just the thing! I retrieved the square I had thrown away, thinking, “I can’t make it any worse than it is”.
I plopped blotches of color here and there, with no rhyme or reason, except that I purposely covered up a few of the glaring errors I had made.
After continuing to use it for several practice sessions, I dubbed it Chaos: it looked chaotic and it matched my life.
I was recovering from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. At least, I hoped I was.
On many days, I was better than I had been, but still not well enough to work more than a few hours a week. …
In the midst of this turmoil, I was stealing moments of great fun.
I could sew on this practice block on good days and crash days, since there was no pressure to do it right.
As long as I could sit up and keep my fingers out from under the sewing machine needle, I was good to go.
I practiced fusible appliqué, machine free-motion embroidery with metallic threads, and then machine free-motion quilting, also with metallic threads.
My machine purred on happily for weeks, then months.
While I stitched, it was as if I entered another realm, where all was peace and light; where space and time longer existed.
Physical pain, fatigue, fear, and worry were all forgotten.
Read more in her article My Scrap Angel: Life Lessons Learned While Quilting, May 30, 2018 – find it in the blog section of her site: