Failing in Public

A lot of people don’t want to show off their work. They say that it’s not good enough to be seen by others. This is false humility – what they have is not respect for the spectator’s time. It’s fear.

Fear of being criticized (and rightly so). Fear of exposing their imperfections. Fear of being seen as the apprentices they are, and not as the masters that they long to be.

The point is that failure in public gives us good training. Because the work will never be perfect. Because even the work with which we are satisfied will have critics. Because the world will take care of showing us flaws that we didn’t ever imagine.

And because… When we see that showing imperfect work didn’t end the world and didn’t destroy our reputation, perhaps then we can relax a little more and be a little less afraid when it is time to bring “the one” into the world.

By the way, you won’t. Bring “the one” into the world.

A body of work is not “the one.”

It’s the accumulation of years of public failures; each one slightly less flawed than the last.