Saturday, June 4, 2011


My main non-writing hobby is fiber arts. I spin yarn, dye fiber, weave, and knit. Like writing, these activities tend to go in spates. I won't spin for weeks, and then I'll have a month or so where I spin for at least an hour every day. Likewise with knitting. One minute I might feel like perhaps I should sell all my yarn, and the next I hear the siren call of my stash and have to start new projects and try things out.

One thing I've noticed lately about my fiber projects is that I'm pretty forgiving of imperfections. Sure, I like it when things are perfect, but I also know that some kinds of mistakes will not really affect the finished product. Each stitch is only one of many stitches. Each thread is only one of many threads. I do my best, but I also know that I can end up with a lovely finished object even with some small errors along the way.

Some might call this laziness, but when I look at the number of fiber projects I have completed, and that I am totally happy with and proud of, I don't think that's accurate. It has more to do with striking a reasonable and realistic balance between my desire for perfection and my enjoyment of my work. True success comes from productivity. Productivity comes from enjoyment. Enjoyment comes from relaxation. Relaxation comes from not pressuring myself to be perfect.

I have resolved to apply this philosophy to my writing. I have a lot of writing projects that are stalled or that I haven't shared with others because I can see their flaws. However, I need to admit that my assessment of these flaws may be overly harsh. I need to stop letting my desire for perfection get in the way of my relaxation, enjoyment, and productivity.