While I’ve finished writing one book and am more than halfway through a second, there are some projects I’ve tackled that haven’t fared so well. Here are some of my less successful attempts at learning/practicing new skills:
Playing the cello – I love the deep, mellow sound of the cello. I’d tried playing instruments when I was a kid, but wasn’t really all that interested, so thought I’d give it a shot as a motivated adult. I acquired an inexpensive, used cello from a friend and began lessons. I stuck with it for two years and got to the point that I could play some simple pieces that were recognizable. But I wasn’t good at it. If I wanted to be even mediocre I was going to have to practice for hours every day. Turns out I didn’t want to play the cello that badly–I wanted to read, write, cook, hike, hang out with friends . . . so the cello sits idle in my closet now.
Knitting – I have an aunt who can knit intricate pieces without looking. Two sticks and some yarn–how hard could this be? Well, after several months I had half of a scarf (with alternately too tight and too loose stitches) and seriously waning interest. Knitting looks cozy, but like everything else it turns out to take practice.
Gardening – Okay, I still mess around in the flower beds and yard, but I’m not good at it. My tomatoes blight, my lily of the valley doesn’t bloom and my mock oranges are sprangledy. And I don’t weed nearly often enough. I like gardening enough to persist, but not enough to do it really well.
So how is it that I stick with writing? Maybe because it’s only slightly harder than breathing for me. Turns out I mostly like doing things that come easily. And sometimes that makes me feel a little disappointed with myself. Maybe I should try harder, branch out more, be willing to practice for hours on end. Then again, maybe God made me love writing for a reason. Maybe He has a plan (and He surely does). And while I know God could use my knitting to further His kingdom if He wanted to, maybe He likes it best when I write. I know I do . . .
Q4U – What have you tried that you either didn’t like or weren’t good at?