You are making more mistakes than you want to.
How do I know?
Because the number of mistakes we all want to make in life is zero.
And the number we tend to make is greater than zero.
The novel you keep trying to write is too boring. Your business plan is too messy. Your dream is riddled with false starts and fumbled passes. But that’s okay, because the best stuff often hides in the weeds of our first drafts.
The movies are a great example of that.
“While most scripted comedies shoot fewer than four hundred thousand feet of tape – a finished movie is between eight thousand and ten thousand feet long – films that rely on improv typically require more than a million feet.”
Let’s not blow by those numbers.
Most movies use around 400,000 feet of film.
Improv movies use around 1,000,000 feet of film.
Well as Lehrer writes and you already know from your own life, “the funniest moments are rarely written in advance.”
I think that’s not just true of funny moments. I think it’s true of amazing moments too.
They aren’t always scripted. They happen on the fly. In the middle of a mistake. In the middle of a first draft that has stretched on too long, an all nighter on a project that has everyone exhausted or an unplanned conversation before a meeting starts.
You’ve got to give your best ideas some space to show up. You’ve got to give your dreams some time to unfold. You’ve got to give yourself the freedom to unspool some rolls of life.
Do you ever get impatient with the amount of mistakes you make?