SHORT: The Power of Making Mistakes


I’m not necessarily a perfectionist, but I still read over some of my older writing to fix any visible mistakes, even if it doesn’t matter. Whether I see inaccurate information or a grammatical error, I’ll usually fix it as soon as possible. While revisions should be required for any kind of serious writing in my opinion, looking back at an imperfect piece of yours is one of the most obvious but shrewd methods of visualizing your progression as a writer.

Back when the typewriter was first popularized in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the absence of a backspace or delete key on the device really forced typists to think before they would put their thoughts to paper. Sometimes this would cause writers to recreate entire typed pages three or four times until their creation seemed mistake-free. With all the “failed” drafts made on typewriters that would line thousands of file cabinets today, I would think that even acclaimed authors and novelists like Ernest Hemingway and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle embraced their mistakes and viewed them as a “portal” to a time when they were younger, less experienced writers. Of course, I don’t want to imply that dwelling on mistakes is good. Focusing on the present instead of the past can probably help every writer focus on making their work the best it can possibly be.

In my eyes, rushing out a product that isn’t finished just because “it’s okay to make mistakes” isn’t justifiable at all, but making an effort is what forgives a few errors. I once heard someone say, “The biggest mistake you could ever make is being too afraid to make one.” In a time when various ideas and projects fail because of today’s society and their aspiration to be perfect, this is one of the best and most accurate quotes I have ever heard.

Nicholas Lucchetto, The ESSAYER

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