February 27, 2012

The Dexterity of Experience


I needed a new notebook, so I sat down to sew one over the weekend. I've many of these coptic bound books since I learned the technique in college. I hadn't made a new one in a few years, but fortunately my fingers remembered just how to guide the needle. All of the small tricks I had picked up over time to make the process easier and create better results, came right back. It feels good to realize that I actually do know what I'm doing and I am developing creative skills.

I recently saw this clip from Ira Glass (thanks Kathie!) which really spoke to the challenge of creating and truly realizing your creative potential. It reminded me that practicing and working through the awkward stages of creating are crucial. Every sentence you write, every photo you take, every stitch you sew, every recipe you try, every mile you run, or whatever craft you are practicing, is part of your creative work. It might be messy at first, it might not be that good for a while, you might feel like you are not getting anywhere. Keep going.

Eventually, things will click, you will make something that turns out as you had hoped or better. And you will reach the point when your fingers can guide the needle with the dexterity of experience.

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