Welcome all dreamers, fantasists, bibliophiles, and romantics. Join me Mondays and Fridays for speculation about other worlds, exploration of the human heart and soul in fiction and fact, sojourns in history and science, advice and tidbits in the realms of story, and thoughts on everything in between...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When a Project Sucks

Last night, I tried to replicate a dish I’d eaten at a movie theater diner with a few modifications, substitutions really, like chicken instead of turkey. I spent quite a while planning and cooking, and the result was … Well, I hated it. My husband and mom thought it was okay, but I absolutely hated it.

As is common for me, I get rather annoyed, well to be honest, angry, when my attempts at the culinary arts crash. I know it isn’t productive or reasonable. After all, I tried my best, but for perfectionists like me, that doesn’t always cut it.

This is also true for writing, art projects, and generally anything I attempt to create. It all got me thinking about how I handle it and how I should handle it when something I create doesn’t turn out like anything I intended in a bad way.

Anger, frustration, disappointment, the desire to break something without actually following through, and other such emotions are okay so long as you don’t allow them to linger or control you or stop you from trying again.

Then embrace the learning phase. What went wrong? Why? Tonight, one of my lessons was to stick with brands of hummus that I know I like rather than saving 30¢ on a new brand. Often, we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.

Next, determine if the project can be saved, altered for some other purpose, or if it should be put aside. This is definitely not the time to allow emotions to decide. Objectivity is necessary to make wise decisions in this matter.

And finally, move forward. Whether you try a new project with the lessons you learned or rework the old one, always move on. It isn’t worth it to get stuck in the mire of one failure and miss all the opportunities to succeed.

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