Tuesday, April 15, 2014

About Work, or- How I Learned to…

Until my late twenties, I had difficulty with longer projects. Time management was not part of my schooling. If I couldn't finish a paper or a book in a month or two, I did not finish it, period. This shortcoming was something that prevented me from proceeding in school. (And from doing many other things, come to think of it.)

 In my late twenties, I decided this had to change. I picked up embroidery and started increasingly demanding projects. This form of tapestry is the most tedious way to create or re-create patterns, slower than drawing or painting. 
I learned how to parcel energy for the long haul, how to muscle up for the draining middles of longer projects when the enthusiasm of the beginning has worn off and the tailwinds carrying me to the end were not yet blowing 

I took this on as a disciplinary matter, not for its own sake. But the concrete results were there to remind me that YES, I CAN.

My efforts served me well later when doing restoration on antique textiles, and of course, with my writing/revising and such.

So this is where I am today, back to work writing a new story. If you're working on your taxes, that'll be over soon, and then comes tomorrow. On this final stretch, grab hold of the saddle and don't let go.


  1. I loved embroidery as a child, but only short projects! My mother and sister would do the long and complicated ones. My contributions were meager. No wonder I like shorts so much. Novels take YEARS to grow ... and patience isn't my strong suit.

    Hmmm, maybe I need to pick up the needle again this summer.

  2. I used to embroider when I was a child, but only the easy ones with the pattern colored on already. ;)

  3. It amazes me how I didn't find discipline with my writing until I was married with small kids. I could never finish any projects, writing or otherwise, when I was single with loads of free time on my hands.

  4. Like Kimberly, I didn't finish anything until I had kids. I guess I needed to work with short snippets of time to accomplish something--baby steps!
    Your embroidery is exquisite! I don't seem to be able to stick with craft projects like I do with writing, but I have found that art of any kind inspires me.

  5. Beautiful embroidery. I5-20 years ago I was doing a lot of counted cross stitch -- the big, intricate projects. I'm drawn to projects I can sink down into, and that's probably why I write novels, too. I haven't done any stitching in quite some time. It's partly a matter of "something's gotta give" and partly a matter of CATS.

    1. Ah yes. Cats are worth giving up everything for... I'm with you there.

  6. I did simple cross-stitch, too. Going into big, deep projects gives a secret kind of satisfaction ~ the kind that only we know about. Others can't see our improvements/advancements (or maybe they can). But we can feel them in our bones. And that's a thrill.

  7. Wow. Embroidery is a great way to tackle that problem. It definitely requires discipline and patience. Glad to see it's not a lost art. :)

  8. I struggle with this too, but in the department of "inspiration." If I let an idea sit too long and don't complete it, it can lose its original appeal and sometimes starts to drag. I have had to learn how to conquer this issue! As for embroidery or any kind of fabric craft, I have zero patience! I still have a quilt that I started about 11 years ago and I need to finish... = )

  9. I made several large projects years ago. It seems I can only create in one way at a time, so for now, writing takes up that space. But your embroidery is inspiring and I'm thinking it might be a great craft to do while listening to audio books.