No Erasers = No Mistakes

Life is the Art of Drawing Without an Eraser


Why are we always so afraid of making mistakes?  I don’t know about you, but I still have this tendency to beat myself up whenever I discover that I screwed something up ….again.

As much as we would like to think otherwise, we end up creating our life as we live it.

In other words, we make it up as we go along.


Life is not some Algebra problem to be solved

Sometimes we fool ourselves into believing we know what we’re doing, that we know exactly where we are going. “A” leads to “B”, which always leads to “C” — except of course when it doesn’t.

Once in awhile things work out as we thought they would, but most times they don’t. Unfortunately for us there is no magical “Do over” button when things go sideways. We can’t go back and erase.

Instead, we just have to pick ourselves up and try something else.  For whatever reason, we think eventually we’ll get past this stage.  That somehow, with enough time and practice we’ll grow out of it  — but that’s just not the way life works.

Perhaps it was Leonardo da Vinci who said it best, “Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.”

The one thing we won’t find in our life’s art box is an eraser, but that’s okay because it turns out, there really aren’t any mistakes to be made.


“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”
~John W. Gardner

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  1. The first word to pop into my noggin’ is “Perfection.” This word would simply gnaw at my soul. Sad to say, yes, I am one of those who believe it has to be nice, neat, or in other words…perfect. No eraser found here!

    Some of my artwork isn’t just art, but a piece of me leaving. Happy, sad, mad, whatever…To a degree the person in not only paying for your work, but YOU as well. In my mind (not sure about others.) If my work looks half done. I feel my customers/people would view me as a half-ass person, not together, or too lazy. After all, it is what you are putting out there into the universe.

    All I know is John Gardner had it right. You have no eraser for life. So, why not go with the flow.

    1. I think you’re right Sonja, in the fact that what we create is ultimately a small piece of ourselves, or at least a piece of who we were at that moment. I also really like your idea of your customers paying not only for your work but for a piece of your creative soul as well. We are not, however, diminished by this loss but we continue to grow in response to it.