Today I was teaching my 4 year old son how to ride a bike without training wheels, as I have done with all of my previous 3 kids. Elan rode and fell. Rode and fell. Each time wiping the mud off of himself and jumping back on the bike. I started off running along side him holding him up and then let go without him realizing. He eventually rode on his own.
But I thought how much of a metaphor it is for our life. Especially a creative life. We always learn by our mistakes. But you can easily get locked on it and quit before the miracle happens. Failures happen. In any “successful ” persons life ( open to interpretation what “successful” means) there have been multitudes of failures. I remember trying to get a comic strip syndicated, ( which was a little like the way shows are pitched these days to networks, and the amount of “greenlit ” shows are as small as the amount of comic strips they used to “syndicate”. Anyway, with each new strip idea, and 6 weeks worth of finished “dailies” I would send them off and get a reply. First one was “These strips are not very funny”. I seem to have the drawing down, but not the writing. The next batch I sent out was a little better, with letters of advice on how to make it better, and the next was one better, with still more advice, until King Features was very close to syndicating my strip ( after about 10 to 15 tries with different comic strip ideas.) They ended up passing, but by then I had discovered animation, and I realized the comic strip industry was shrinking fast. But also, after all of that work, I had gotten much better at writing and creating characters. My short films were also learning grounds, and then with Rocko, they all came into play.
I’m still learning my craft. I still make mistakes, and I can often be wrong. Instead of ordering someone on my staff to do something my way, I sat “Lets try it out”. Sometimes it doesn’t work. But we always work together to find a better way. Creativity is like that in general.
Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Learn from it.