Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mistakes and Goals

I had to move a cat to get to my computer. I had better make this a good post.

Why are mistakes only visible after they're made? How simple would life be if we saw the error before it happened?

When I created this blog, I misspelled ranunculus. How dumb was that?

My first post should have been called "A Post About Nothing." I didn't know the difference between a blog, which is this entire site and all its accompanying info, and a post, which is a subdivision of a blog (someone please correct me if I am mistaken about these terms). My ignorance seems to have caused a great deal of confusion for at least one reader. Thankfully, she forgave me and stuck with me. Not everyone would have.

I had no goal when I began. I just started and hoped I would figure it out on the way. That may have been a mistake. Allison Bottke has some strong words on the subject: "Always have a goal." She said it several times during her workshop. I heard, but I didn't listen.

Ms. Bottke is a stickler for professionalism. Put your best, most professional foot forward. Study your topic. Become an expert. It has most certainly worked for her.

I have a high regard for competence. I expect it from experts. However, every new skill has a learning curve. Mistakes are made when you start. How many and how often depend on the difficulty of the skill (and possibly the intelligence of the trainee). Competence results when those mistakes translate into learning, adaptation and improvement.

In American (as opposed to English, which we haven't spoken for years), I must practice to get better.
I will always make mistakes. It is the penalty for being alive and human.

Which brings me to the question, should I go back and correct the mistakes on this blog? I corrected the name. Should I correct the name of that first post?

I think not. Mistakes can be reminders: sometimes painful, sometimes embarrassing, but sometimes useful for keeping the ego in check. I have plenty of ego. Better to bruise it with the occasional mistake than be crushed by the weight of its own, false sense of perfection.

Eventually, this blog will have a goal. With each post, I see the need to know where I am going and what I am doing in this space and time. I begin to understand why people have multiple blogs.

Right now, this blog is most useful to me because it offers a segue way from the real world into the inner world where my characters await the breath of life. I generally work on my book for one to two hours after posting (that's a half to a full chapter for me). For that, I am grateful, no matter what mistakes I make here.

I have no idea why it is useful to you. Maybe that is a mistake.

1 comment:

  1. How ironic. A post about mistakes and I made two of them. Forgive me, I corrected both. Does that make me a hypocrite?

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