For 2009, I enrolled in a watercolor class. Our first lesson was yesterday. I love the comfortable, right-brained philosophy of my new teacher, Lee. I appreciate this chance to be a beginner, to experience what it is to not know anything. This is the place where the beauty of creativity can bud forth.
So far, my work pretty much sucks.
Which means I sympathize with my writing students who are experimenting with words for the first time in their lives. It's not a comfortable feeling to have no idea what you're doing! As I made my first brushstrokes, a voice in my head said, "See! This is all uneven and bumpy. You chose the wrong colors, and you didn't use enough water. You are going to be very bad at this."
When one begins to write, or paint, or create in a new way, there's a tendency to evaluate too soon. Brain wants a forecast. Wants to "get on with it." I've had writers say, "Just tell me whether I have any talent or not, so I'll know whether I'm wasting my time." Our quick, grownup, impatient "expert" selves don't want to wait around for our slow, childlike, beginner selves to learn this new skill, to play and to experiment and take the long, long road that is true creating.
Thank goodness writing has taught me. And so I will suspend all judgements, labels, criticisms. Who knows? I may get the hang of it sooner or later. I'll let the beginner run the show, and send the impatient expert off to some other task. Ah, yes. She can help me do taxes.
Where are you trying to be the expert, when it would serve you best to approach the task as a beginner?