What Try Means

by tjbeitelman

Back when we first started Try 101, a little over a year ago (BTW, happy belated birthday, Try!), I had grandiose visions of writing a sprawling “manifesto” — a call-to-arms for Creative Types who were looking for a different, more holistic approach to making what they make. An approach that, of course, emphasized process over product but that also incorporated the whole of our lives. Art (or whatever you want to call it) doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens within the context of individual lives, shared lives. Body, mind, spirit. Other body-mind-spirits. The culture at large. The interplay matters. Maybe it’s the whole point of creating anything at all.

With those ideas in mind, I posted a few installments of the manifesto as I completed them. Then last week, I decided to scrap the manifesto entirely. Strike it from the record.

Try has become its own thing, and being a part of its creative evolution over the last fifteen months or so has been a gratifying experience for me. I’d much rather honor that than get (and stay) on some soap box.

Try 101 is much simpler than any manifesto. We don’t need thousands of words to explain what we’re up to. We just need one: Try.

Try means effort:

  • Try your best!

Try means experimentation:

  • Give it a try!

That’s it.

Simple. Not always easy. In art (or whatever you want to call it). In life. Trying can be, well, trying. “Failure” is always possible. Perhaps it’s even likely. There’s certainly no guarantee of “success,” especially if you define “success” as “not failing.”

“You play, you win. You play, you lose. You play.” That’s a great quote from a great Jeanette Winterson novel. Appropriately enough, it’s called The Passion.

That’s what Try is all about to me.

I’m happy, lucky, and thankful to be a part of it.