Making Noticeable Progress

March 1, 2014

Progress–it’s slow going, but each stitch gets you there. I had High School Art classes for two of the three days I worked this week. Mostly, when the kids are not painting on the table, and trying to tell you, “It’s okay, we do it all the time,” while none of the other tables are painted on, I like these groups of students. I also get to walk around and see some really cool art projects and ideas. Many art students are quite talented.

Since I am not incredibly needed by these groups, as I am in younger grades, I am often free to knit. I was able to complete more than two rows at a time this week. I even came home almost tired of knitting both days. Monday I got through nearly half of my first pattern repeat for the lace work. Thursday, I nearly finished it.

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I do track my progress with hash marks and tally marks, so I know where I’m at and that I am making progress through my long-term projects. That way I can see things moving along. However, that often leaves me focusing on the whole, or the big picture. I have five of these repeats before I begin the heel. At sixteen rows per repeat, this can feel overwhelming. At some points, I will compare the two socks, to make sure I am keeping things similar. I will also have to make the effort to repeat the noticeable mistakes I kept. But these are only checkpoints and I’m choosing to focus on what I can do; what I have done.

I’m finding myself applying this philosophy to my writing as well. I have begun the first edit on my draft that is close to finished. First, I printed out a real “book” of pages and have begun editing on hard-copy as I find it easier. I am working through the nearly finished manuscript scene by scene and looking at how everything flows. I’m making edits about wording and transitions, as expected. I don’t have quite as many edits as I expected at this time. But I’m honest enough to know what is expected.

After the 7th chapter I became tired of reading for the day, but still had some restless energy. I sat down at my computer and began to transfer my edits to screen. After I had edited a few scenes, I remembered the “status” field in my synopsis of each scene. I went back through those scenes I had edited and changed my status from “Draft” to “1st edit.” I did this for each scene I edited and finished the first chapter this way.

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Performing this simple task left me feeling accomplished. That sense of accomplishment carries with me that day, and on through much of the week. Just as finishing the first of the pattern repeats in my sock leaves me feeling accomplished. Its often just another hash mark in the project; one row or one scene at a time, but those little progress reports give me the motivation to keep working at it. I know, even on days I only get to knit one row, or write one scene, I have moved forward, one step at a time. Some days, that is all we can do.  Image

In closing this post, I wish you similar luck in your own progress and sense of accomplishments as we forge through the days tasks.

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