22 March 2018

If something's worth doing it's worth doing badly

'If a thing's worth doing it's worth doing well.' Do you remember that? 
It was the mantra of my childhood. A worthy sentiment designed I imagine to urge small children to try our hardest, to do our best and give it our all. But it had a dark side. A hidden message that it's not ok to do things badly; to bumble along cheefully singing bum notes and coming last in cross country and that has had an impact. A lifetime of avoiding the community of choirs and missing out on the joys of fell running, of saying, 'No, I can't' when I should have been shouting 'Yes, I'll try.' Of trying and failing and loving it anyway.

I'm a writer. I write short stories and poems and this blog. Once in a while I share something that I've written with my writing group and occasionally
with the outside world. But only if I think it's good enough. Everything else gets binned. I have no middle ground. No sense of 'just ok' or 'it'll do' or even 'it's a work in progress' and I think that stems from the long held belief that if I'm not doing it well I shouldn't be doing it at all. 

So I've taken up sewing. Stitching little patchworks and embroidering pictures that I can do in front of the telly just for the fun of it. 

There, I said it - JUST FOR FUN. The results aren't great. I'm fighting the impulse to pull out the wonky stiches and abandon the failures. It's not the end result that matters and it doesn't need to be perfect. 
What matters is that the selection of coloured thread and the piecing together of fabric is a tiny burst of joy. That the in and out of the needle is calm and soothing and that the concentration needed is just enough to allow me to watch Master Chef at the same time. 

Finally, I'm learning that if something's worth doing it's worth doing. Full stop. Not well or badly - just doing - so I'm going to stop being so hard on myself and fish some of those poems out of the bin. Look out Shipley Writers' Group!

After The Snow (one from the bin)
Back to work to a flurry of photos, a swirling of stories, a whiteout of words
Drifts of dramas and igloos of images
Banks of boasting and graupels of groaning
Anecdotes in avalanches slipping and sliding
An endless blizzard of snow, snow, snow.....

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