It Is The Deviation We Seek

Even if it usually looks like a mistake

Marti Purull
3 min readAug 6, 2022


a detective looks for clues while a thief steals his wallet from behind, in cyberpunk style — by DALL·E

Error Spotter

In school, we learn to avoid making errors and fix the ones we have already made. Depending on what we pursue academically, we might become proficient error handlers. I remember spotting grammar mistakes everywhere after my first year at university. Since I studied translation, I spotted mistakes in several languages! Later, after becoming a music producer, the same thing happened with recordings. I could hear things I would have done differently, detecting frequencies that seemed too dull or harsh to my trained ears, especially when listening to non-professional productions.

Bad Consequences

The condition of error spotter has several negative consequences. Firstly, it is exhausting: our brains are constantly on high alert. We see and hear everything around us and pass judgement. Once we do it frequently enough, we don’t even realise we are doing it, but the practice takes its toll. More importantly, permanently tuning into the mistakes others make takes our attention from the mistakes we also make. We seem to tune out of our melody. Indeed, no matter how much I edit my writing, a handful of misspellings always slip through. However, the worst part is that focusing on the mistakes means we stop concentrating on seeking unexplored possibilities.

The Best

The best writers, musicians and creative won’t content themselves with compliance. They won’t resign themselves to avoid making mistakes. You know someone is in full command of their craft when they seek mistakes, when they defy the norm, when they show us ways where previously there seemed to be none. Good artists take us down strange paths. Excellent artists lead us into uncharted terrain. The best artists create that terrain. When faced with genius, the mediocre will try to correct a mistake, unable to grasp that it was always meant to be there.


Perhaps we shouldn’t call these feats of genius errors. Maybe we should call them deviations. Learning the norms and rules of communication is essential for all those of us who intend to transmit meaning. We cannot claim high artistry only because we couldn’t be bothered learning the basics. True artists mastered the…



Marti Purull

I’m a musician, but I think every day. So I write every day. Thoughts. Reflections. Life.