Is it better to do a thing badly or not at all?

To answer the question, Is it better to do a thing badly or not at all? I take refuge with something I say a lot these days.

It depends.

We need both motivation and caution, bravery and guile. A tag team of two players works well if one has the courage, another focuses on detail.

As I get older and bolder, personally I tend to the view that it is better to do a thing than sit and think about it, or wish I had done it. I hate regrets. I hate saying, ‘If only I’d had the courage to get on with that ….’ and knowing I could have done something to help life turn out differently.

I would rather have a go at something, perhaps starting small until I gain the confidence to attempt something bigger. There is only one way we learn, after all, and that is by making mistakes; by realising that mistakes are only stepping stones, questions to answers we haven’t found yet.

Who would object to us getting a thing wrong? Authors and writers are not in the habit of creative catastrophe, are we? We’re unlikely to burst the dam, to send someone to their death or to motivate someone to evil… That being so, we really have to decide to go ahead one day, to live without having all our ducks in a row, before we know the answers, before we can be sure.

Unlike in real time, where we build a path, then walk along it, in creative attempts, our path – our luck, our outcomes  – are the result of a decision, a choice we make, to do something; at which point, the path comes to meet us as we walk along it. There are no guarantees with that process, except that there is a lot we can learn.

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