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From Neill Cameron’s Twitter:

  • I was working recently with a bunch of kids who kept tearing up their own drawings in frustration, so I did something I’ve not done before.
  • I talked honestly to a classroom full of children about how much I hate my own drawing.
  • Okay, not the full extent. These kids ain’t ready to hear that. But that I do.
  • They were kind of appalled, and horrified and fascinated, but anyway, they stopped tearing up their drawings.
  • As I attempted to explain it — and many of you reading this will know already — when you make a drawing, there are two versions of it.
  • There’s the version that exists in your head, and then there’s the version that ends up on paper.
  • And because you can see both versions, you can’t help but compare them, and feel frustrated by the difference.
  • But here’s the thing, and I think it’s easy to forget this: no-one else can see that first version.
  • They can’t judge against it. They can only see, and judge, the version that exists on paper.
  • And you know what, this sounds crazy, but they might actually like it for what it is. They might think it’s cool that you made it.
  • I mean, holy god, if you guys could see the version of Mega Robo Bros that exists in my head.
  • Your eyeballs would melt and your heart be burned away by sheer divine fire of amazingness.
  • But the differences between that version and what’s on the page are only visible to me, and shouldn’t — can’t — matter to anyone else.
  • If a draing goes a bit wrong, ah well. Look at it, learn, try and make the next one better.
  • Or, possibly even better: abandon false objective notions of quality altogether and just enjoy the process, the activity, of making a thing.
  • Not quite how I phrased it to the Year5s, but hopefully you get the idea.
  • IN SUMMARY: be kinder to your drawings, and yourselves. I know, it’s hard. But try.

(Though this was written by a visual artist, the advice is applicable across creative disciplines – be kind to yourselves and to your stories!)

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