(image source: Melisica Tumblr)
Practice makes perfect. True story: I spent about 5 hours yesterday learning how to letter the ‘perfect’ you see before you. That’s the comforting and frustrating thing about calligraphy – it takes time to learn how to do it well. You have to learn about nibs, and pressure, and letterforms, and after all that you realize you’ve spent your entire Sunday pouring over a pad of ink paper and your house is a mess. I was sort of hoping that pretty words would flow a bit more easily than that, but, alas, it was not to be.
Sometimes, we need a little reminder that you can’t always be good at something the first time you try it. While I was writing and re-writing the word ‘perfect’ (which is a little creepy now that I think about it), I started thinking about how easy it is to forget how much time and practice go into most things we consume. Usually, what we see is a finished product with no context as to how long it took the producer to pull it all together. That’s the thing about most pursuits, actually: it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes time and effort to make or do something well. In the era of 23 year-old tech billionaires and instant success, it’s especially easy to discount the importance of practicing to get good at something. I, especially, tend to fall into this pattern of expectation and frustration. Maybe it’s because I’m a (semi-recovering) perfectionist who for some reason expects herself to be good at everything, all the time. But, let me tell you: even though it may not seem like much, I’m way prouder of this ‘perfect’ if only because it took me 5 hours to get it sort-of right.
So maybe practice doesn’t make perfect, but practice makes better, right? Be kinder to yourself the next time you’re starting something new, and remember that the longer you work at it, the better you’ll be.
What are you practicing or learning? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to see whatever you’re making!