The other day, I attended a jewelry-making class. I wanted to attend because the jewelry being made will be given as gifts to women who are trying to leave abusive relationships. I also thought it would be fun to learn a new craft.*
Apparently, jewelry making is not meant for me. I like the design stage; I am content while thinking of new patterns to create with glass beads. I do not like the beginning or ending of bracelets, necklaces, or earrings. It frustrates me. It makes me realize that I am not a very patient person.
I learned this truth while attempting to begin and end the bracelet and earrings I created. I had to ask for assistance multiple times. While receiving that assistance, I also was told – multiple times – that the frustration was natural since I was a beginner.
The point has some validity, but I think the true source of my frustration was that I didn’t have the right tools. I was told to bring needlenose pliers, so I rummaged through my toolbox and found a pair. Those particular pliers were of no use to me when trying to create a loop in the memory wire or to open or close a ring on the earrings. They were not the right tools. They mangled the wire or scratched the beads. I needed different ones.
Writing is the same. It can be excruciating if the wrong tools are being used. A person armed with the wrong tools will become frustrated at best. At worst, he or she will think the writing efforts have been a failure and either will never try again or will refuse to try other formats. Yes, writing has a learning curve, but some of the initial frustration can be thwarted if the right tools and guidance are given.
*Originally published November 2011.