While watching Breaking Bad last night, I practiced wire wrapping beads. They all looked like misshapen Dollar Store charms. I’m on a jewelry making bender. It’s off the hook. I have two tackle boxes full of vintage jewelry, several different pliers, and a stash of mixed metal sheets and wire.
I’ve spent a few months gathering vintage jewelry, assembling my supplies and reading books. I tried to make a couple of pieces, failing each time. Most of what I made didn’t even reach the level of sucky because I couldn’t get much together at all. I finally said uncle and signed up for a jewelry making class so I can get some guidance.
I went from passing fancy to obsessive fact finding.
My obsession with jewelry making has now reached a turning point. I have now learned enough that I understand how most jewelry is constructed. I know what the tools are. I’ve waded through the online resources to find a couple I like. My Pinterest boards are full of inspiration for future projects.
It’s time to move out of the hopeful land of fact finding where anything’s possible and every outcome is glorious.
Tuesday and Wednesday before this week’s class I made lots of notes and sketches. I tried to keep my ideas simple enough to execute without much drama. Still, my mind spun with the sheer possibility.
I made two things in class yesterday. They’re both awful.
One is a copper sun with an oblong body and rays that come out of the right and left side, but not all the way around. It looks like a diseased and bloated spider. My teacher even looked a little bit scandalized at the way the rays turned out.
The other piece is a small copper charm with the big dipper carved into it. It’s not as embarrassing as the bloated sun spider but it’s still not very good.
The chasm. It is monstrous. This monster kicks asses. And not in a “Kickass rah rah rah” kind of way.
The chasm between what’s in my head and what I can make with my hands is wider than the Grand Canyon. Larger than the stack of business books I’ve culled while building my business. Longer than my list of ideas for creative projects.
The monster shows up lots of ways. See if any of these are familiar:
A great idea for an online class to teach and then only 2 people sign up for it.
Deciding to train for a 5K and realizing that running sucks.
Planning out a novel and writing the most cliched first chapter you’ve ever heard of. It puts Anne Lamott’s shitty first draft theory to shame. What you wrote is the shamefullest of shittiest first drafts.
Psyching yourself up for a networking shindig, putting on your fancy duds and favorite underwear. And then getting there and when everyone is already paired up, leaving you alone in a room full of people much more together than you, you get the hell out of there.
Here’s your cure: Expect to suck.There’s holiness in sucking. Go there and wade in it.
It’s part of the deal. Go through the shallows to get to the deep goodness.
I will wire wrap beads until I can do it so it looks good.
I will create and teach classes knowing that what I teach and who I do it for is exactly as it should be. And that in 1 year I will teach with more competence and authority than I do now.
I will run through that painful first mile because the deep breath and sudden rush of ability that comes at mile 2 is worth all of it.
I will write a shitty draft, scrap it and repeat until I make something worth sharing.
What about you? What are you willing to suck at?