I’m Giving Myself Permission to Make Terrible Art, and You Should, Too
Have you every wanted to create some kind of art, but felt paralyzed because you were afraid it wouldn’t be any good? Or stopped yourself from sharing something you had made because you convinced yourself no one would like it?
Chances are, if you are a creative type, at some point you have dealt with feelings of not being good enough, or fears that whatever art you produce will be inadequate. I mean, is there an artist out there who doesn’t feel that way from time to time?
But sometimes these feelings go beyond apprehension and turn into a fear that stops you from wanting to create at all. I know I have been there.
Whether you are a writer, painter, photographer, filmmaker, or any other type of artist, you have to start somewhere. And most of the time, unless you are some kind of prodigy, that somewhere is not very good.
In fact, that somewhere might be terrible.
I can’t tell you how many things I have written and never shared because I didn’t think it was any good. Somewhere along the way, I convinced myself that unless my writing was great it wasn’t worth being shared at all. After all, what if I shared it and someone didn’t like it, or said something negative about it? Surely I would die of embarrassment.
The thing is, though, your art can only improve so much if you keep it hidden. Self-critique has its limits, and eventually you will have to share your work with others in order to improve.
I want to create more, and I want to be less afraid of not being perfect. So I’m going to embrace mediocrity, and push myself to share my work despite my fear and despite the fact that it might not be as good as I would like it to be.
My work might even be terrible! And that’s fine!
Eventually, through sharing your art and getting feedback and seeing what works and what doesn’t, you will be able to grow as an artist. But you have to start somewhere. So join me in giving yourself permission to make terrible art.
All that matters is that you are making something.
Grace Carlson is a writer from Washington. She writes about travel, mental health, writing, and books. Sometimes she’s funny, or at least that’s what her mom says. Visit her blog, A Passport And A Pencil.