#1 Learn How to Fail.
In addition to Aspergers Syndrome, I have a clinical diagnosis of Atychiphobia or, to put it another way, a fear of failure. Therefore failing is not just an uncomfortable thing for me to endure, it is something I will avoid at all costs. The irony is that by avoiding the potential success, I fail anyway.
So instead of hiding away from failure, complete the task anyway.
Of course, if it’s going to bankrupt you or potentially kill you; Stop doing it immediately! On the other hand, if the worst that is going to happen is that you are going to fail at the task; Continue and complete. Once completed, you can either sulk about it not succeeding, or look for a way to use it for future success.
Before I composed A Mummer’s Farce, I attempted another percussion piece called ‘this is a joke’ to submit for the COMA Summer School in 2014. It was terrible. There was no rhythm. The ‘joke’ was far too hidden to even be funny. There was many a problem with the piece itself.
The success on the other hand, was how I presented it. Ok, so it was no masterpiece, but it gave me an opportunity to build a connection with the percussionist who was workshopping the submitted scores. If I had sulked after I discovered that the piece did not translate from paper into the real world, I would not have made a good impression on someone who has given me guidance since. Instead, I talked to him about my process, and tried to figure out how and where it went wrong (turns out that it was because I took the Binary code I used too literally).
Because I didn’t sulk and let it get me down, I now have two pieces performed by Chris Brannick (the second being LionHeart1189).
It’s not an easy thing to do, but since I started learning how to fail I have never been so relaxed with my studies. Sure, there may be a chance that I could fail my Masters. But I could either aim for failure, or aim for success. Which one sounds better to you? In addition, along the way I could use it as a way to learn new compositional techniques, that way even if I do fail the course, I won’t be failing overall.
If I had not learnt how to fail, I would not have succeeded in my Creative Project, which required me to break toys to create an instrument. Failure was inherently built into that project.
– Jason Hodgson (24th August 2017)
P.S. Based on my marks from the first year, I am fairly confident that I’m not going to fail.
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This post has been proofread by Jane CoomberSewell of CoomberSewell Enterprises.