Creative Failure

I don't watch a lot of "reality" television.  I like my escapism to be more escapist.  There are a couple of things I do watch, though.  I watch American Idol because of my involvement with music, and because I live with four females who watch it.  I watch some home-remodeling shows as well, like Sell This House! and especially Flip This House.

I also like watching cooking competions: shows like Iron Chef America and Chopped! are favorites of mine, but I've become somewhat addicted to The Next Iron Chef. I'm a bit of a (now) amature chef myself; I worked in restaurants (including cooking) for a long time, and love to cook now, and especially come up with creative ways to prepare whatever's in the pantry at the time.  So I like shows like this that test people's ability to create on the fly.

The show's second season has just ended, and my choice to win has prevailed; Jose Garces was crowned as the new Iron Chef.  There was much heated debate by the judges (can anyone really stand Jeffery Steingarden?) and three of the current Iron Chefs over the selection.  The judges seemed to prefer creativity, and the chefs technique. 

One thing stood out to me, however, as something that can be applied to life and ministry in general, and not just a cooking show. At one point in the argument, Iron Chef Michael Symon asked this loaded question : "If you're creative and you fail, are you creative? Or are you a failure?"

Symon was seeming to indicate the latter.  I'm not so sure.  I'm a big proponent of the theory that you fail at much of what you try in life, but you fail at everything you don't try.  And that goes with creative endeavours as well.  I've been trying recently to create an animated short film using Blender as a promotion for our upcoming Christmas Cantata.  And I've been failing miserably.  Everything I do stinks - I can't get the shapes right, I can't get the textures right and forget about the motion.  But if I don't try to do it, I'll never do it. 
This blog started as one such "creative" endeavour.  I thought "Let's see if anyone cares."   And while it hasn't set the world on fire, Google tells me that over 6500 people have taken a look, and I've been invited to speak, for example, based solely on my online writing.

I would answer Symon like this: if you create, you are not a failure. Not every creation becomes a success, but can be a stone on the path to success.  So keep writing, keep drawing, keep singing, keep playing, keep preaching, keep directing, keep producing, keep... whatever it is you're doing.  

What did you create today?


  1. Well, yesterday I created this thread on Harmony Central.


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