My frustration level was high and I wanted to quit. “It’s no use,” I thought. “I’ve never been artistic and just can’t do this.”
The class I found myself in was not what I expected. Self-criticism was at an all-time high as I muttered inwardly. My work looked nothing like that of the instructor and I wondered if I should attempt to quietly slip out the door so as not to embarrass myself further.
Then the instructor said something that changed my entire outlook. Her words, “Give yourself permission to be a beginner,” were not directed to me but still hit me hard.
Why did I expect to be an expert at a craft I’d never tried before? This was totally unrealistic. Yet, I grew impatient with myself for needing time and practice to accomplish this new skill.
One thing I knew for sure; I would never learn it if I quit trying. It was time to change my mindset.
I thought back to my first attempts at writing. Only by persevering, studying my craft and learning from my mistakes did I start to improve. There is still much to learn but the more I work at it, the better the chance of continued improvement. If I hadn’t given myself permission to be a beginner I would not have discovered the passion I now have for writing.
This year my writing was accepted for publication in three anthologies. Each of these stories was written, refined, edited and rewritten many times before they were ready to be submitted for consideration. My first draft was not good enough. Nor, was the second or third.
Any new skill takes practice and by exploring new things and putting time and effort into them, there’s no telling what new abilities and passions I will discover.