…was to keep making choices, despite the failures.
Above (and below) is a picture of two draft versions of my poetry book that you’ll never see (and I couldn’t find the first draft called “Music To My Ears” with an even more egregious cover design).
Chain link fences and bacteria are great book cover designs, though.
It wasn’t just that I designed, laid out, and bought some revision copies of a book, trying to self-publish it like my older brother did with his, it’s that I wrote dozens and dozens of poems over my pre-teen years, and chose around 75 to put in this book…why?
Because when you’re a kid, you do cool stuff and you don’t ask why. You produce a huge volume of content, and hey, maybe you get better, or maybe you learn along the way (even if the lesson is, “you probably shouldn’t publish a poetry book when you’re 12”).
When you’re a kid, you don’t try to figure out the ROI and product market fit of some project before you allocate resources toward it — you just try it.
This is what’s molded me into what I am today, and what I’m continually becoming: The willingness to keep trying new things.
I’m getting closer to building a life where I get to do what I want and doing it very well…but boy did it take a lot of trial and error to get to where I am.
So, what are you waiting for? Try it. Whatever it is. Try it.
You risk more by doing nothing.
I’m not my 12-year-old self anymore, but boy do I admire that kid for doing cool stuff way more often and with way less hesitation than I do now. We often think about what we would tell our younger selves, but not as much about what we probably need to hear from our younger selves.