You know how in school, it’s all about being right or wrong?
4 x 6 = 23… wrong!
blue + yellow = aqua … wrong!
e and i mixed up? Wrong!
It was heavy times. The pressure was real. We were right, or we were wrong. As I now remember it, there wasn’t a lot encouragement or space for the actual learning part of school. Do it right, right now or fail.
Fortunately real life isn’t like that at all. In real life, we can wonder or get curious or ambitious. Then we can decide to learn to do this new thing we’re wondering about, and there’s no test. No timeline, no failure. In real life, we can do things badly for as long as we need. This is wonderful!! Except that we’ve been trained to be afraid of being wrong.
I give you (and myself) permission to do things badly. Like really badly. This is permission to buy a watercolor set and some paper and paint like a child. Just push some color around. It’s also permission to belt it out on a karaoke stage while totally being off key and off tempo. (Who here would love a CGP Client Karaoke Night??)
Because the only way to get good at a thing is to do it badly first. And probably for a long time. I was a pretty crap artist for years before I was a pretty good one. And I loved it. You’ve gotta have a blast doing the thing badly. Have so much fun doing it badly that before you know it you’re actually decent. Another upside of joyfully doing things badly is that people love to help you. Random people will give you advice, tips, mentorship because it’s inspiring to see someone who is really trying, and you’re just plain fun to be around. That’s really my secret for becoming a better photographer. Yes, I’ve paid for instruction… but the instructors have become my friends. Since I’m always a joyful and willing student they are always joyful and willing to advise. 10 or 20 years of that and BAM! one day, I was suddenly a great photographer!
Whatever it is you did as a kid, or sorta would love to try, do it. Take one step right now. Google a phone number. Buy the kit. Find the online / facebook group for people who do the thing and make friends. Feel life blow your hair back.
And stay tuned for karaoke night details…