“The person who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.”” — William Connor Magee

 

As a mistake enthusiast, or at least a mistake-prone human, I love this quote. Full disclosure: Magee says “man” instead of “person” but indeed we all make mistakes.

At my new job I’ve had to re-reckon with the tension between the fact that copywriting comes down to precision (and economy) of language. But the process doesn’t get anywhere without just first writing a whole bunch of bullshit. From that initial bullshit you can start to cull it down to arrive at something meaningful that fits a brief.

And I think this practice of making a bunch of stuff while being unconcerned with the result applies to really anything worth doing. In fact, it’s arguably the only way to make anything halfway decent. Create stuff, adjust it. Repeat.

Part of the reason (or maybe the entire reason) this is so effective is that when you start to disconnect from the outcome and embrace mistakes, you allow yourself to create faster and put more of yourself into your work. The work flows faster and as a result gets better. And along the way, you’ll make some mistakes.

Through that process you’ll improve and so will your work. And in the end, you’ll have a body of work (admittedly perhaps of varying quality) in your wake.