It's a new year! Everyone woke up to this week with bright-eyed optimism and hope, armed with new resolutions. We promise to lose some weight, learn a new skill, finish patching all the holes in the wall, or what have you. Yet inevitably those resolutions fail. We eat that second donut. We watch TV instead of reading a book. We slip up once and it's so easy to put all our hopes and resolutions away for another year when it will be that much harder to start all over again.
I mention this depressing fact because resolutions are a lot like any creative project. Any time you choose to create something, you're taking a risk that you might fail. It's a hard fact to face, but living a creative life will be so much easier if you give up now. Expect to fail. But then pick up the left over felt and thread and try again!
Above, I posted a photo of my Christmas batch of French macarons (I do have a minor obsession with those chameleon pastries--so be warned that I'll share much more about them). This time, I took a risk. I tried a new recipe for macarons that a fellow Pinner was kind enough to share. The result the first time for these finicky desserts was not up to standards. The brand new gel food coloring that I tried made the macaron pink -- not red, white, and swirled. The macaron shell itself was too puffy, occasionally hollow, with pointy tops. Now, it tasted fine, but the perfectionist in me was quite disappointed. My fellow Pinner's macarons were gorgeous, absolutely flawless! And mine was like a puffy dreidel.
Poor puffy hollow macarons.
So what did I do? I tried the recipe a second time, altered a few details, and produced one of the prettiest batches of macarons I have ever baked.
The moral is that you have to keep trying, whether for a new year's resolution or for any creative enterprise. So what if your craft doesn't look like the one in the picture? Did you have fun making it? Do you like the final results? No? Then keep trying. And if you do like it, then fantastic! I'll borrow from cooking icon Julia Child, who said that "The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” (Yes, that sweet lady actually said "what the hell"!). Be content with your projects, and remember that every failure is a lesson learned. Be proud that you dared to try and realize that most of your mistakes are far less noticeable that you think. So give yourself permission to fail. I already gave myself permission, so maybe I'll spare you a few mistakes along the way. Good luck with your projects and enjoy each failure and success!