I nearly named this post "Mistakes" but then I realized that it would have been a misnomer. I don't like to think of things that I don't use as mistakes, but as trial and error, learning experiences.
For some reason, when I draw or paint and the result is less than what I had hoped for at the outset, I tend to think of the time or resources as gone. But when I take many pictures out of focus or unusable for one reason or another, I never think of them as 'wasted'.
It's a conundrum.
We all know that practice is what makes you better, but no one wants to waste a single thing, especially not time. Making mistakes or trial and error is how we learn, especially when working on new projects.
I've been working on a picture of a gas giant that just isn't happening for me. At first I was frustrated and angry at myself for not getting it "right" the first time. But then I thought back to all of those photographs that I took that are poorly lit, crooked or otherwise different than how I'd intended for them to be when I picked up the camera. I have thousands of pictures and some of them just aren't salvageable. It's not just art. I've made cookies that wound up in the garbage, and written thousands of words of stories that will never see the light of day. Practice is brave. It's the hardest part on the way to making something good.
I need to remember that to put things in perspective from time to time. It's not about the mistakes, but about learning. I can only do that by trying. The time is never wasted so long as it is important to me.
Here's to me flailing about and hopefully making some more art really soon.