Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Price of Failure

My brother owns a recording studio called Iconoclast Recording. Now I am not involved in any way in the music industry, and know next to nothing about the recording process. But I do understand ideas and philosophy. And I personally love what I see when it comes to this studio.

My favorite part though: my brother maintains a daily blog, condensed into 141 characters a day, with fresh and insightful tidbits about his art. But what masquerades as advice about music is really advice about life. So today, I thought I would share with you one of his recent blog posts:

The price of failure is virtually nill. At least if you’re just starting out, when few are paying attention. If you put something out there and it stinks, no one is going to send you hate mail. Chances are, no blog or print publication will burn you with a bad review. The world will simply ignore the song and move on. 

Yet we still step out with caution, expecting to be punished, laughed at, scorned for the ambition and hubris of putting art out into the world.
What if you’re tight-rope walk is just you on the ground walking funny? What if there is no net, because there isn’t even a fall? What if you lose your balance? You can immediately get back up and try again; failure costs you nothing.  

There has never been a better moment to take artistic risks. There has never been a worse time to play it safe. 

After reading this, I had to admit that I am guilty. I am afraid of failure. The biggest thing that keeps me from really diving deep back into Standard Pauper: the fear of failure; the reason I stopped submitting short stories to the Writers of the Future contest: the fear of failure; the reason I haven't finished my fantasy novel: the fear of failure.

But my brother is absolutely right. Especially when it comes to my writing endeavors, there is no tight-rope or long fall to the ground. Failure costs me nothing. In fact, it probably will make me better. It's time to stop playing it safe. It's time to stop making excuses. It's time to get to step out boldly, make my mistakes, get back up again, stop worrying about the consequences, and get to work.

What about you? Are you afraid of failure? I'd love to hear about it. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, George. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose! What a great perspective! :) (And thanks, Chris, too!) Thanks for posting!