When Things Go Wrong…

…which they will a lot at first, and they never completely stop – it can be really disheartening. Witness this, for instance:

Blossoming Cherry Gone Horribly Wrong

Blossoming Cherry Gone Horribly Wrong

It was supposed to turn out rather more like this:

Blossoming Cherry Soap

Blossoming Cherry Soap

But Something Went Wrong. I honestly never did figure out what it was, though from the behavior of the failed soap-mess, I think I must have added far, far too little lye somehow. It was pourable after two whole days in the mold, which is Just Not Right. So off it went into the trash!

I did allow myself a brief sulk over the failure; after all, I put time and care and love into that batch just like every other (not to mention cost of materials) and I have to allow myself a bit of time to mourn the loss. But just a bit! Then I spent a day or so trying to retrace my steps and find out what went wrong, but as nothing was immediately apparent, it went on the list of “if this ever happens again, I hope I get more data to work with”, and I moved on.

Mostly, I find I am able to move on from even my most spectacular failures by looking at things that go right.

Freshly Poured Linden Blossom soap

Rosemary Lavender soap

Rosemary Lavender soap

Sometimes that doesn’t work, and I have to just distance myself from the whole thing for a while. Then I seek out some things that make me happy to spend time with. So, Things That Make Amy Happy, Parts 1-3 In A Series:

My niece!

My niece! Isn’t she adorable?

Our dog Mal, being tolerant of swaddling.

Our dog Mal, being tolerant of swaddling.

Our dog Bandit, mooching for pizza.

Our dog Bandit, mooching for pizza.

And there you are, one of my recent horrible failures and my self-therapy process to get back on the horse afterward! Sometimes, though, neither past successes nor a few of my favorite things prove sufficient to get my confidence back, and then there’s only one thing for it: Make something anyway. If it tanks, well, you’ve got a bigger hole to climb out of afterward, but it probably won’t. And then you’ve got a success between you and the failure, and that’s usually enough to get the wheels turning again.

This works for pretty much all things creative, too, not just soapmaking – painting, writing, cooking, whatever. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not supposed to feel bad when you screw something up, but don’t wallow too long, either, or you’ll get stuck that way!


About Amy Young

Founder of Foam on the Range soaps. View all posts by Amy Young

One response to “When Things Go Wrong…

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