Friday, September 23, 2011

Sometimes the only way forward is backward.

I enjoyed a leisurely morning. That's the official version. It sounds much better than the truth, which is that I wasted the best part of the day. At least, it appears that way at first glance.

I was out late last night; I slept until almost nine, spent a couple of hours online, took my dog out to do his business, made a pot of French press, buttered a piece of raisin toast for breakfast. Then I decide join in an Noble Knits online knitting party which started today and runs through Sunday (click HERE) - the perfect opportunity to finish the slouchy hipster hat I started several days ago. This is what it looked like at noon.

Just beginning the decrease to create the crown of the cap.
This is what it looked like less than two hours later.

A ball of yarn and some knitting needles.
No, the pictures aren't reversed. Shortly after I made the switch from the circular needles to the double pointed needles, I goofed up and dropped several stitches and couldn't get them back on properly. Frustrated, I finally gave up and ripped the whole thing apart. 

It seems like I have spent a lot of hours that way the past couple of years, especially since I started writing fiction: attempting to create something beautiful, and having nothing to show for my time in the end. At least, that's one way of looking at it. The fact is that I have profited in intangible ways. Each failed attempt is a stepping stone on the path to eventual success. Someday, I will wear a colorful sweater I have knitted myself; someday, I will sign my name on the title page of my newly-published novel. But someday is not a pipe dream; it is a reality I can see, the consummation of many ordinary days like today.

Live. Learn. Fail. Succeed.

12 comments:

Leanne109 said...

Lovely post!

Pam Asberry said...

Thank you, Leanne. :-)

Raining Roses said...

I love that you find teachable moments in all the nooks and crannies of your life.
Pete

Julee J. Adams said...

I think the ball of yarn is beautiful, because it means potential. I've "frogged" (rip it, rip it) a few pieces of counted cross-stitch in my day. I tempered any reluctance with the thought that my next project would be better/more what I want.

So, your morning was not wasted. You figured out your mistake, made a decision and solved the problem by returning the yarn to the state where it could be used properly. I'd say that was a pretty good start to the day.

Pam Asberry said...

I have a burning desire for things to make sense, Pete...

Pam Asberry said...

Upon reflection I concur, Julee. And last night I reworked the ribbing. I'll have that hat finished in no time.

Corrie said...

Julee said it all. No day, no experience is ever wasted.

Pam Asberry said...

As a recovering perfectionist, I find this hard to accept, Corrie. But as I hope my post reflects, I am doing better.

Grace Burrowes said...

As a writer, one of the hardest aspects of the job for me is shutting the computer OFF. A lot of what I need to assemble for my writing--character traits, story ideas, quirks, period specific knowledge and speech, historical facts, to name a few--doesn't happen when I'm writing. I have to STOP writing, sometimes stop writing AND stop all tangential activity, and only then will the mental compost start to turn.

You need sleep-in mornings, you need knitting days, and you need days to just stare at that ball of yarn and wonder, "What if...?"

And on those days, you are just as much a writer as if you'd churned out 2000 sparkling words.

Pam Asberry said...

Those are really great points, Grace. And I think I'm going to copy those last two paragraphs and hang them on the bulletin board above my writing table. Thank you so much for your comments.

Tami Brothers said...

On step forward, two steps back. Sounds frustrating (and is) but at least it means you are moving.

Hugs!

Tami

Pam Asberry said...

Frustrating, yes, but I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'm not about to give up five minutes before the miracle!