Failing is an important part of learning and improving. In some ways, knowing what not to do and knowing how to fix mistakes are more important than knowing exactly what to do. I like the following quote, attributed to Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Last year I read The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp. In the book she mentions that it’s important to fail in public. I didn’t understand why she said that until a few months ago.
At the start of this year, I promised myself to pick up art again as a hobby. I was going to film myself learning to draw all over again and post it up on the internet for strangers to see. When it came to start the project I began feeling huge amounts of anxiety. Eventually I got over it, but I had to take a break in May due to travelling. Since I got back I haven’t picked it up again, because that anxiety is stopping me.
I think the anxiety is coming from the idea of failing in public. I keep thinking of people watching me fumble around and judging me. I know this indicates a bunch of confidence related issues but rather than deal with all that, it’s probably easier to just stop failing in public.
To that end, I won’t be publishing any more stuff from my project online for the time. I don’t know if that will change in the future but right now my anxiety is stopping me from doing the work and that’s a bad thing.
Furthermore, I’m going to change the purpose of this site too alongside a redesign.
I originally started this blog with the intention of blogging about technical issues and sharing interesting things I come across in my work. Working on legacy tech doesn’t lend itself well to this kind of blogging however, and I’m also starting to think it’s a little egotistical to assume that anyone is interested in the things I think anyway.
I realized a few weeks ago that this website has kind of become a shrine to my failures – my failures to finish MooCs, various programming projects and generally to fulfill the intention of the blog.
Given that I no longer want to fail in public, I’m going to remove most of the content and instead just display the things I haven’t failed at – finished projects and any info relevant to my career that people might want to read about.