In which math is a snug pair of pants

Today’s photo: This time of year the numbers really start to bother a girl like Alice.

This time of year the numbers really start to bother a girl like Alice.

Today’s lesson: Embrace your failures.

I consider this shot a failure mainly because I hated it almost as soon as I posted it. I thought of at least ten other ways I could have gone about this that would have been more effective. Unfortunately, I thought of those ways on my way out the door. The shot was already uploaded to Flickr. It was my photo-of-the-day whether I hated it or not.

That’s okay. The truth is I’ll hate a lot more of my own shots than I will love this year. I tell myself these shots I hate, the one that I am stuck with regardless because there is only so much of me to go around on any given day, are just investments in the process. The only way to get where you want to go is to just keep moving, and the only way forward is through a sludge of self-doubt and fear and disappointment and regret. These are the enemies of creativity, but they are also the building blocks of art. People the world over abandon projects by the millions because they cannot learn to love their own failure. The people who get there in the end are sometimes the people with the most talent, but they are more often the people who just manage somehow to cope with the sludge of their own doubts.

Failure is good. Failure is the sweat equity of creativity. Failure is my friend, or if not my friend, at least a very close acquaintance.

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