My best friend and fellow writer, Cy, sent me a link to an article in the current Atlantic about why writers are infamous procrastinators. Read it here and tell me what you think. And don’t forget to include the reasons you procrastinate in your comment. Personally, it took a relative taking me aside and disabusing me of the notion that talent is the source of success (or even deserves any praise). But my current biggest barrier to writing is poor time management. I tend to pick distractions or less important writing tasks over the more serious ones.
I am no Picasso.
I am no Michelangelo or deVinci.
And I’m never going to be.
My girlfriend at MoiMeMoi posted last week about doing things we love even when we are less than expert at them. Her words struck a chord, because recently, I’ve started drawing again after years and years of avoiding it.
For my entire grade school career, I was considered “artsy.” I drew and painted better than my peers, mostly out of a smidgen of natural talent, but also because I applied myself in art classes and loved to read art books. It was a hobby that I hoped might turn into something more.
Then I hit 12th grade and had the sudden realization that I was good, but I wasn’t great and might very well never be great. That smidgen of talent was just a smidgen. So I threw my hands up in the air and gave up drawing and painting and pottery–the whole shebang.
Occasionally, I’d startle my husband when I had to draw something to show my kids how, or my students would respond to a diagram I’d drawn with admiration. At such moments, I felt like my past was leaking out. My family knew about my “artistic” past, and even suggested I illustrate my books, but I’ve always felt like I’m not good enough to do it and never will be.
Maybe that’s true. However, lately, I’ve gone back to drawing. At times, I sketch still lives, other times, I draw my kids while they sleep, or from a photo (because they are rarely still). I’ve also drawn a couple cartoons. I mourn years of no practice–my skills could have grown, but they didn’t. Sometimes, I get very frustrated. But it’s fun. It’s a hobby, and it’ll probably stay that way.
G-d-willing, I’ll share some more about my renewed hobby soon, with the help of my handy-dandy scanner.
What skills and hobbies have you neglected over the years? Would you ever go back to them?
A few years ago, a group called Mishmeres HaShalom (now called Tiferes) sent out a DVD of Rabbi Noah Orlowek on the topic of Happiness. Happiness is a particularly apropos topic at this time of year. We’re now in Adar, and “When Adar enters, joy increases,” as the Sages said.