There are two quotes that have been in my mind a lot lately. First, by Christopher McQuarrie (via the Daring Fireball post where I read it):
After twenty five years in the craft, I’ve learned the secret to making movies is making movies—starting with little movies no one will ever see.
The secret to knowledge is doing and failing—often and painfully—and letting everyone see.
The second quote, by Robert Greene in his book Mastery, is in a similar vein:
There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.
Amen to both. Make stuff, post it, and it’s okay if it flops as long as you learn from it. (I say this as if I’m already doing that, but ha, no, I’ve let fear of failure strangle my creative work far, far too often. You have no idea how often. Here’s hoping this time the lesson sticks, though.)