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Practice and Patience

practice makes perfect

To say that I’m ambitious would be an understatement.  I might even be ambitious to a fault.  Unlike a lot of people, it’s not with material things that I have the greatest need for accomplishment, it’s with knowledge.  I want to know everything and I want to know it now.  I’ve taught myself everything from basic HTML to basic German. At the risk of sounding like Veruca Salt from the chocolate factory, I have a need to be good at lots of things…and instantly, but as we all know, that doesn’t always happen. If something doesn’t come naturally to me, I often discard it and find something else.  This has resulted in me being a jack of a lot of trades and a master at very little (like the aforementioned basic HTML and basic German, but not advanced in either). My problem isn’t with the desire to learn, it’s with patience to learn.

When it came to calligraphy, I’d always kind of dabbled, and wasn’t great at it, but my desire to be good overcame the initial failures. I was able to move past being uncomfortable without instant success and actually practice.  I met with Tara from Swallowtail Calligraphy and learned some of the basics in an age-old art and, although I am improving, it will take a lot more meetings for me to feel confident.

All of this to say that as adults, is our emphasis on patience and practice lacking? Are we too comfortable in what we’re good at or what we already do well that we don’t put the effort towards learning new things that don’t come natural?

Today, I’m committing to being patient with my practice of calligraphy and being more open to the joy of the learning curve.

Are you learning anything new?  How is the practice going?

 

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18 Comments on “Practice and Patience”

  1. Liz March 14, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    I do the same thing. I have a never ending desire to keep learning, pick up new hobbies or learn a new skill but also need instant gratification. I often blame my lack of practice on time but patience is probably more accurate. I would love to sit down and finally make it all the way through my camera manual. Good luck with the calligraphy! The practice pages look great.

    • Erin | House of Earnest March 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Good luck with that camera manual! You’re right, however, that time also has a lot of impact on the amount of practice we can fit in!

  2. Tara March 14, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    It’s looking great, Erin!! You’re right that learning any new skill, an I think especially calligraphy takes patience and practice.

    Thank you so much for the mention, too!

    • Erin | House of Earnest March 14, 2013 at 8:30 am #

      Tara- I’d love to get together again soon!

      • Tara March 14, 2013 at 8:45 am #

        I’d love to meet up again, soon, too! What is your availability like? We have some things coming up on Saturdays- this Saturday Scott has to leave the house at 4:30, the 23rd is free, but then the next 2 Saturdays are booked (our 5th anniversary and then Scott is on a business trip). I could also do other days of the week. Just let me know!

  3. Milynn March 14, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Your calligraphy is looking great! Learning skill takes time and dedication! I’ve been trying to learn how to play the piano on and off, it’s hard for me to stay with it because like you, I want to know how to do it now, right now. I love this new perspective you shared, it’s really inspiring me to stay committed this time!

    • Erin | House of Earnest March 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      That’s so funny because my husband and I were just talking the other day about how we’d like for our (non-existent) kids to play piano. Best of luck with your practice!!

  4. Stacey @ Likes to Smile March 14, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Thank you for this post. I suffer from this affliction myself. The joke about me in my family is that my battle cry could be, “Patience?!?! But how long will that take?” I recently started a blog and am teaching myself photoshop and basic html simulataneously. And I keep thinking, “I know the program can do what I want, but how do I make it do that.” And over and over again I keep reminding myself to be patient with myself. All this to say…I’m glad you’ve found the patience for yourself with calligraphy. Maybe it is true what they say– practice makes perfect.

    • Erin | House of Earnest March 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      Stacey – this was me about two years ago! Knowing a lot of things were possible, but not knowing the most direct (and easiest) route. You’ll get there!

  5. Chelsea March 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I also suffer from lack of patience and patience in itself truly takes much practice- something I feel that I never have time for. Reading your blog over the last year and a half has been very inspiring, you have grown so much and serve as a true inspiration- from your honest from the heart posts like this one to your fun DIYs. I often feel ready to quit at it myself but I have to keep reminding myself that as I continue to learn and explore my creativity that it will all come together in due time. Thanks for inspiring!

    • Erin | House of Earnest March 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Chelsea – you are too sweet! Thank you for your kind words, and you’re far too talented to quit! So keep on!!

  6. Erin | Holtwood Hipster March 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Like the others here, I completely relate! I have a lot of interest in and curiosity about so many different things- which on the plus side has lead me to try so many new experiences. But I can become completely frustrated and compulsive about doing it right. My parents tell stories of me carrying out this same behavior as a child. Its truly part of my makeup. Sometimes we really are much harder on ourselves. From the outside, I’m sure it looks like I can do much more than I think I can do.

    Vegetable gardening is my current focus – and I tell you, good practice to learn patience.

    Your calligraphy is looking fab by the way. What a great art because each truly has their own style with it. Good for you for sticking with it!

    • Erin | House of Earnest March 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      Erin, you so are so right… veggie gardening is a huge test of patience. My husband just tore up my failed attempt at a garden from 4 years ago :) oops!

  7. Shannon March 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    I am the same way! I have stopped many hobbies because I didn’t enjoy the fact that I wasn’t good at them yet. I nearly had a panic attack trying to play Mario Cart for the first time last month. I had never played video games growing up and couldn’t handle how terrible I was.
    There are a few things I am hoping to start though. Mainly terrarium building! You can’t be bad at it right?!

  8. Sam Malone March 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more! I always want to learn new things and skills BUT I have a huge problem with making the time and commitment to excel at it. As we get older, we have to make ourselves take the time to become better and better at the new skills we enjoy.

  9. Rebecca - A Daily Something March 15, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    I feel like I wrote this post, Erin! haha. My biggest problem when it comes to learning is also patience. You’ve inspired me, though. I really want to learn calligraphy and a few other skills, and actually master them as much as I can. Thanks for this post! :)

  10. Syrah March 19, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    I’m right there with you, interested in a million things and want to be perfect at each of them right when I start. You are so right, practice and patience will pay off down the road. Love this post!

  11. Dawn Pasco April 4, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    I can so relate to this post. I do the same thing. About a year and a half ago I started taking drum lessons which I loved, but since I’ve started blogging regularly I haven’t had the time (or more like made the time) to practice. Now, I’m trying to learn as much as I can about social media and blogging. I commend you for learning HTML. I enjoy the creative aspect of blogging, but the technical part is a challenge for me. Practice is the key!

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