Doing It Wrong

by Tobias van Schneider

This article first appeared on my private email list.

As you might have read in one of my earlier emails, I dropped out of high school when I was 15 and started working as a apprentice for computer science, which left me with very little traditional education.

Because of that, one of the things I always struggled with was writing. It was hard for me not only in my first language (german) but also in my second language (english) which I never really learned during the few years I visited high school.

In a world where making a typo or grammatical error seems almost on the same level as committing a crime, I felt intimidated by even considering putting some words on a page.

For me writing was especially hard because it seemed like I had to follow established rules that everyone else knew, but I did not.

I believe that the reason why I personally got attracted towards the creative industry (working as a designer), is because “doing it wrong” wasn’t something you got punished for. There was no one who knew better at the time — The rules weren’t yet established, and they hopefully never will.

When it comes to writing, things are different. Our written language follows strict rules (which are hundreds of years old) and people love to call you out on it. But these people are really the only obstacle to overcome, nothing else.

I essentially didn’t know how to write, but I still did it. I didn’t know how to design, but I tried it. I was doing it “wrong” for many years (I still do) but I’m doing it — And that’s what counts for me.

Every time someone complains about your writing (or any other) skills you have to understand one thing:

While others are complaining, you just created something
out of nothing — You are one step ahead.

For me, doing it wrong is a gift and there are not many people who have the courage to do it the wrong way. The moment we understand that “the wrong way” just means “our own way” we know we’re on the right path.

As Albert Einstein already said: “The only source of knowledge is experience” — So instead of doing nothing, do it wrong.

Happy Wednesday,

PS: If you like to receive these kind of articles (and more) via email, you can simply join my private email list. 🙊 Pssccht!

Desk of van Schneider

Stories from the Desk of van Schneider written by Tobias van Schneider. New stories usually appear first on my private email list which you can sign up to at — Enjoy!

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