The necessity of failure

A baby standing up after falling

“When it comes to creative endeavors, the concept of zero failures is worse than useless. it is counterproductive.”

Ed Catmull (Former President of Pixar and Disney animation studios) with Amy Wallace,

From the book: Creativity Inc. overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration

The problem with circus

In the circus, the above is challenging to say the least. Sometimes failing is not an option if you wish to stay alive while creating…

Seriously though, so many mistakes have been made in the current history of circus creation that I cannot but agree. There’s something to be said about the resilience required to get to the level of technique at which you are “free to experiment” in your circus performance and, consequently, creation.

I believe what is required is Grit, as defined by Angela Duckworth in her book by that name: “(The power of) passion and perseverance.” We’ll be back to that.

Beyond technique

However, any form of artistic creation demands mastering a technique and then going beyond that, aspiring to contribute to the great archive of human artistic creation. It is precisely that “Going beyond the technique” which demands experimentation and failing, for that matter, to find a genuinely creative path, a story, a voice.

Falling flat on your face in public

The question for me at this fragile point of the process of writing a book is, to what extent am I willing to fail in front of people? Like fall flat on my face, as I usually do with my daily writing practice, only choose to do that in front of you all… Particular cases come up, like this one, about the necessity of failure and the fragile first steps of creation. This brings me to that vitally important aspect of any valuable artistic creation – the need for feedback, immediate constructive feedback.

More on that in the coming days. 

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