I always feel the need to tell budding artists, budding writers, to keep trying. To keep working, as if someday, what they do will be worth it. Will be worth the efforts they’re taking currently. As if the goal is the outcome. As if the practice is unimportant, except in reaching that final phase.
As if the goal weren’t the creation of something unique and beautiful that, although flawed, contains a piece of the artist’s creativity and passion and skills. As if the practice itself weren’t the goal. I guess this is why I hate it when people throw things away. I value everything, even the sketches I’ve hated so much that I drew thick, dark X’s on top.
So when I’m telling people to keep going, to keep drawing, when I’m trying to plant some deep-seeded desire to get to the end of their artistic journey, what I’d rather be saying is, “This, right here, is beautiful. What you’ve done is beautiful. Sure, the eyes are a little off, and that mouth could use some work, but really, I love it just the way it is.”
The few times I’ve tried this, however, the people began spewing self-depreciating remarks, and I end up with a handful of people who, for that moment, carry no desire to continue.
So I don’t say that anymore.
I say, “This is already really good, and practice makes perfect. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.”
Which certainly isn't bad, but it's far from the message I'd rather deliver.