‘If we are not prepared to make mistakes, we will never make anything new.’
Sir Ken Robinson said this in what has become the most viewed TED talk ever called ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ (see below). It is one of my favourite presentations because it talks about how we are all made differently and how we need to equip and release young people into what they were made to be.
Especially in creativity.
As a creative my challenge is always to be vulnerable and open. Not just in the process but in the sharing as well. This is where creativity can be most painful.
This week I was leading worship at a conference. This year they have come up with a new tag line of ‘Live for more’ and I was set the challenge of writing a song to help communicate this. Usually songwriting involves an expression of whatever is in my head or heart at the time, however on this occasion it was for a specific group and with a set theme.
I had to find a way of expressing their voice. I had to dig deep and get into their heart.
One of the things I find really hard is finishing a song. I struggle to think it’s good enough or even finished. The most painful part is the first time I have to let it be heard by anyone else.
This week there was no escape or getting around it, this is their song and it was time for them to hear it for the first time. It was the most vulnerable I have felt for a long time. This was my best effort at what I felt their voice sounded like, and now was the moment of truth.
‘What if no one likes it?’.
‘What if I make a mistake?’.
‘What if it’s too complicated or not good enough?’.
Fear can paralyse us and make us hide. It can lead us to becoming safe and never actually release the gifts and skills that God has put within us. But vulnerability gives us the chance to grow.
If we aren’t prepared to make mistakes, we will never make anything new.
If I’m not prepared to get things wrong, then i’ll never take enough risks to be great.
If if I’m not prepared to be criticised, then praise has no meaning.
Creativity is not vs vulnerability. Creativity is the result of vulnerability
So…. choosing to be vulnerable. Here is a demo of the song.
They loved it.
Here is Ken Robinson’s TED talk.