Welcoming Creative Bloopers If you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something. - Neil Gaiman In Community Choirs we have a saying 'wrong and strong' which is about encouraging singers to sing out, even when they are not feeling confident of a part yet. When we strike out for anything in life there it may involve a few takes until it comes out how we'd like, but we have to be willing to give it a go. Too often the mainstream media culture of blame and shame, celebrity judges and public votes can create a culture of fear about taking the creative risks that are necessary for growth. So here's a little October tonic to help us love, learn and grow from our bloopers.
Recovering from Mistakes via Repetition and Adjustment The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way. - Dale Carnegie When we are children we recover and learn from mistakes via a process of repetition and adjustment. When my baby nephew was learning to walk, I watched him taking the step in his garden time and time again, making slight adjustments every time - up, down, sideways, backwards - until he was confident he had mastered it. He was totally absorbed in this process, with no judgement of any of the inevitable bumps along the way until he'd got it ... and then he’d move onto the next thing – such as banging all the cupboard doors! Choir members are often amazed to find they can sing when they thought they couldn't. What has happened is that they have found a space where they feel safe to repeat the process of singing enough times to feel confident. It’s called practice and every singer of every level needs to do it and will make multitudes of helpful mistakes along the way.
Editing Mistakes Creatively Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. - Scott Adams We all have a natural desire for growth and improvement which too often becomes fused with competition and judgement. We can learn to transform our Inner Critic into our Creative Editor. The Inner Critic sabotages growth with incessant judgement and unhelpful critique. The Creative Editor uses mistakes as signposts and says ‘hmm that’s interesting, the tone of this note was great, but I’d like to go over that one again,’ and gets busy with the process of repeating, refining, learning, growing. When we cultivate this type of creative, curious listening for ourselves, we become resilient in the face of mistakes, judgement and rejection.
Mistakes precede growth Life is all about evolution. What looks like a mistake to others has been a milestone in my life. - Amisha Patel Mistakes are what happens before things get really good. I have made 'mistakes' whilst recording a song that brought in a fresh idea from left field. JK Rowling received 12 rejections before finally getting a yes from a publisher for Harry Potter -"I pinned my 1st rejection letter to my kitchen wall because it gave me something in common with all my fave writers!" she tweeted. We have the companionship of life's courageous doers when we commit to keep singing through the bum notes until we reach that wonderful performance high, when it sounds great and everyone feels fantastic. A natural amnesia kicks in at this point - the song we just wrestled with suddenly becomes the most amazing thing we've ever sung and if we do recall the struggle, we feel that it was all worth it.
Mistakes are funny, endearing and human As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes. - Mel Brooks Celebrity blooper videos and film outtakes get millions of hits because mistakes are a wonderfully entertaining part of being human. Everyone has to go through the process of learning and making mistakes and it's so much more fun if we allow ourselves to love the bloopers along the way.
Wishing you the beautiful bounty of brilliant bloopers this October :)