One of the other creative things I do, other than writing, is drawing. There's something about a blank piece of paper that makes me smile. It can be what I want it to be. I can mould the image to reflect what's in my mind. When I studied art at school, the teacher told us never to be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes can be erased, painted over. Heck, even artists like Vincent van Gogh used to paint over their canvases and start again.
But mistakes are also lessons. Without mistakes how do we know what works and what doesn't?
Look at Pointillism. Up close it's a mass of dots, but stand back and the image takes shape.
(Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-1886. Georges Seurat)
Art critics coined the term Pointillism to make fun of the technique. They thought it was a mistake. Now those paintings are some of the most visited works of art.
And writing is just like art.
We ready our canvas. Mix our words on the page. We delete to start over. We agonise over tiny sentences and words. We don't want to make a mistake. The mistake can ruin everything. Sometimes we just need to let the words flow. Creativity an writing is about discovery. Taking the story in places you never imagined.
So let creativity be your guide. Make mistakes. They can always be revised later. Who knows, one of them may end up being the most important dot in your word painting.