Let other people’s failures be your inspiration!

There are really two types of inspiration. One is a work of genius so perfect and complete that it inspires you to set your sights higher – to try to make something as good or better. However, there is another, equally important, kind of inspiration. Genius can be overwhelming and scary. If someone else has reached such heights, how could you ever reach them? If so, the second type is for you.

Have you ever seen a movie or read a book so bad you thought to yourself, I could do better than that. Seeing or experiencing something terrible, a horrible artistic failure, can motivate people to try it themselves.

Not only that, but in bad art the mechanics behind it are visible. Reading a terrible mystery novel reveals every trick a mystery writer uses except done sloppily and obviously. It points out so many dead ends, it becomes a road map for doing it correctly.

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed with insecurity, just find a terrible example of what you want to do. Find a bad movie, book or song that actually got produced and released commercially. Then, read, watch or listen to the entire thing.

Obviously, you can do better than that.

One response

  1. See what happens when you write about the web all day? “Site” just pops into your head automatically.
    My thought is that this kind of inspiration really only gets you to take your first step toward creating at all. Most of the time, the first thing you create isn’t all that great. But, if you keep working it gets better. That’s when you start being inspired by greatness.
    Inspiration from failure just makes art seem easier. It’s like finding out that the club you want to join takes members like you. Makes you more likely to apply for membership.


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