I've been sitting here all morning, twisted about with nerves on a new venture that I'm about to undertake. Do I tell you all about it before it happens, and risk public failure if I do not succeed? Or do I keep quiet and wait until I have a triumphant success to shout to the rooftops?
This is a question that plagues me every time I work on something new, and is one of the reasons I was so hesitant to even DO kickstarter. What if I fail? What if I post up this project and you all watch me crash and burn? There is nothing I hate more than public humiliation and failing in public would be emotionally devastating. So it took me weeks and weeks to do a simple kickstarter and build up the nerve to post it.
It occurs to me, that part of why I feel this way, is that myth that if you are a 'real' artist, then everything you do must be a success. Everything you touch turns to gold, every sketch, every doodle is priceless. You cannot fail, for you are a master at your craft and even the worst of your work is more incredible than the average layman could dream of making.
This is a mythology that I think a lot of us buy into. Too many of us count the successes, only speak of the triumphs, and pretend the box of failures does not exist. We do not talk about submissions to publishers and our piles of rejection letters, until someone is on the verge of giving up art entirely. Only then do we mention it casually, a little 'oh yeah I've failed in the past, don't worry, you'll get there.'
Get where? To a magical point where failure simply does not happen? Where 'no' is no longer in our career's vocabulary? I feel like this is crippling, and maybe it is time to embrace the possibility of failure as real as the possibility of success. And that failure is not a bad thing. As the song goes, it's time to win some or learn some. Failure is just another learning experience and we gain from it regardless.
So today I share that I am nervous. I may fail, I have been rejected before. But tomorrow morning I drop off my art at the Springville Museum of Art, to undergo the jury process once more and see if I make the grade for display. I may, and I may not. But I am giving it a try. And if I fail, I will share that with you as well, and what I've learned from the experience.
Maybe now I can learn to get over my fear of failure, and take the big risks and the chances I wouldn't otherwise, because that is the only way to grow into all that I can possibly be.