horrible work

Today, I cast-on a commissioned knitting project for the fifth time this week. That’s right: 5. All things accounted, I could have been close to a third of the way done and on track for the two-week deadline I gave myself. But no, I tested one technique after another after another until I decided on a combination that would provide the best results based on the specifications the recipient and I agreed to.

Tedious, yes. Necessary? Unfortunately, yes. Yet, I’m not going to slapdash something together. The recipient should want to wear it and I want to feel I provided the best work within my ability. Sometimes that takes time. Sometimes that takes learning new tech.

And then this afternoon, I read this: http://calnewport.com/blog/2013/04/24/louis-c-k-on-career-capital/

I make no secret about the fact that I want to change my career path, get out of the office and do something that I enjoy, for half the time and twice the money. I want to do something that means something to me, something that provides value to my shared existence. I know it’s possible, and I know I have the capacity to do the work to get there.

Some days are more difficult than others. I cannot just blink my eyes and expect to have the same level of success as someone who as put in 20 years of blood, sweat, tears, and probably a little more blood. Well, technically, I do expect that from myself (with an extra side of tears and a refill on blood) and that is why I push myself so hard on any endeavor I choose to give the time. 

The process is hard, no horrible. For every single night I don’t put the work in now, I put my progress back about a week. The math may not makes sense on the surface, but trends in the field are changing constantly, audience demands evolving, expectations ever increasing, producers flooding the market.

Yes, burnout happens. Gods, how I know it happens–I’ve been through burnout out so many times in my short life. Burnout is a good time to self-reflect: are you making progress or are you just doing one thing and it’s not producing any results? If you have results, are you happy? How can you get more results? Asked every question you can think of? Good, get back to moving, and don’t worry, you’ll have more questions on your next round of burn out.

I have little tolerance for those who aren’t willing to put the work in, who expect to blink and be a master at whatever the flavor of the week may be. I garner frustration towards those who try something once, find it to be more difficult than expected, and then promptly give up to save their precious egos. And don’t even let me get started on those who only complain but never actually make any attempt towards positive change.  Sheesh.

No, progress takes work, horrible work sometimes at the tune of years or more. Even if you find your passion, the work doesn’t get any easier, it just may feel more fulfilling most days–but certainly not every day. Even if it is your so-called “dream job” you will still have bad days, days you want to give it up and go back to your shitty whatever you were doing before. Just like when you’re working out and your muscles start to burn, that’s the critical moment when you are pushing your muscles to actually get stronger. Those are the moments when you show the world what you’re really made of.

So…show the world your guns.

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