The best thing you can do for your creativity is to be wrong.
It’s a simple premise, one explained expertly by educationalist Sir Ken Robinson.
“If you’re not prepared to be
wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
What’s so wrong with being wrong?
We are taught today that the worst thing we can do is be wrong. Why?
As children, we are encouraged to imagine. We play make believe, we make weird and wonderful things and we get things wrong. None the less we are encouraged to keep trying. To keep creating. To keep imagining.
So why does this change when we start school? What would happen if as young children we were simply told that we were imagining wrong?
In a previous article, I wrote about how it was to grow up, always lagging behind in “normal” education but always excelling in creative fields because of my dyslexia.
It’s when we run the risk of being wrong that we create the opportunity for something new. Being afraid judgement on our mistakes prevents us from creating anything with the potential for greatness.
“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.”
In my first year as a website designer, I started by following all the rules, creating stock standard designs. Then as my imagination was fed, crazy ideas started to look more normal. Of course, this trend couldn’t continue, so one day my design was sent back to me for a complete recreation. At first, I was heartbroken! It was my first real professional snub to my creativity.
Over the next few years, however, I learned that without monumental mistakes, we get stuck in the rut of not really trying. I realised much later that getting my design so wrong was the best thing for my passion for creativity.
Mistakes aren’t final. They are a trial and error system for creative growth.