Thursday, August 27, 2015

Day 969: The Freedom to Fail

As I was watching the Walt Disney special on American Experience the other day, it occurred to me that one of the greatest lessons I've learned from Walt, in addition to all the other crazy things I've picked up, is that failure is actually a good thing. Walt found failure very early on in his life, but look at where it got him! Ultimately, failing taught him valuable lessons that he could relate back to throughout the rest of his life, and I realized that, in comparison to many other students my age, failure isn't as big of a deal.

That's not to say that I like to fail. I definitely don't, but this idea actually lead me to write a blog post on my English Portfolio site that I'm required to create for my English 305 Literary Writing and Theory class this semester. As the first blog post, I have to say it was quite a bit different writing for a non-Disney blog than writing here on Everyday Disney. I've found my voice here and grown acustomed to it, making small changes along the way as I develop my writing style and my interests change. To write for a different blog, however, especially one that will be graded at the end of the semester, took quite a bit more thought.

A little bit of me feels pretty good about taking 305 and getting right into blogging. After all, I've dealt with Everyday Disney for a couple of years now already, and I've certainly found things that work and things that don't. You can't even imagine the number of times I failed at getting an HTML to work properly as a part of the design. And that's just it. Failure helps us move forward. Not only does it give us the motivation to do bigger and better things, but it also allows us to practice, to experiment, and to take risks.

That's exactly the topic of the blog post I wrote for 305, about how in our society, so much pressure is put on getting good grades, but within this one English course we're suddenly able to experiment without taking a risk of any sort. Sure, at the end of the semester we'll have a huge grade, but if I royally screw up a paper, it's not going to impact me. I can improve that paper throuhout various drafts, and when I'm ready, I can publish it on my online portfolio. In other words, I've been given the freedom to fail without consequences, and I think, for Walt, such an idea would have been spectacular.

It won't go on forever, of course, because as soon as I leave 305 I'll be back to the real world where every paper brings a different high stakes game for a high grade, but by then I hope to have challenged my own writing, making it possible for me to develop my own unique voice, and that's just about all I can ask for!

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on September 18 due to a tight schedule).