Category Archives: Quotidian

Learning From Failures–or Not

Looking through my photos, choosing one to headline a particular post, I’m drawn to my disasters. Could it be because there are so many more of them than of anything else (notice how I won’t class an object a success).

I am, if nothing else, on this journey I’m taking, humble. Working with polymer clay after a lifetime as a successful writer is, exactly that, humbling. I’m forced to see how much I don’t know and how inadequate my efforts are in polymer clay.

In the beginning, I was annoyed at my failures, pissed off that things hadn’t gone as I intended. If something didn’t work, I moved on to the next thing. To repeat a project until it did work–that was outside the scope of my imagination.

Until I joined a local polymer clay guild and met women who were in every sense of the word artists. I saw very clearly then the difference between what I was turning out and their projects. They have years ahead of me in working as artists, but they’re gracious and encouraging and never laugh.

So I’ve gone from being someone at the top of her field to an inadequate practitioner of an art form that for some reason has me in its thrall. Now when things don’t work out, I first follow my usual thinking–what can I do to make this look reasonable? I have a collection of objects for whom the answer to that was, nothing.

Just lately, today actually for the first time, I heard one of the polymer clay artists in one of the many Groups on Facebook say something about treating the first object as a trial. Making a second in which you put all you’d learned in the first. Oh. What a novel idea.

That photo at the top is an experiment in a new-to-me technique called–

–and there I left this post. I intended to redo this little dish, with more specific intention and practiced techniques. Instead I did nothing, then started mixing some clay, then started fiddling with the mixed clay, and…

It’s not the little dish. I don’t know what it is, but it’s a turning point for me in this process…

Return to Blogging, Take 2

Here’s my problem: I want to start blogging again. And one would think, what better place to do it than here, in this corner of my website labelled “Blog”.

Except–the kind of blogging I want to start again has little to do with writing or editing or process or revision. Except, of course, when it does. Which is when that thing in front of me, the whatever must be expressed that day, just happens to concern the written word.

Am I making any sense?

Do I really care?

What I miss about blogging, about the kind of blogging we used to do before we got concerned about stats and monetization (have I said all this before? because it feels very familiar…)–. Sometimes we wrote about what we ate for lunch, and sometimes we wrote about the state of our union (if we had one) that day. When I say ‘we’, I mean ‘I’, of course. Sometimes we/I ranted and sometimes we/I moaned.

All of those posts existed at some point in the MidLifeBloggers archive. However, the MidLifeBloggers archive no longer exists. Therefore, my pearls, those gems of my mind for the years ’05-’15 are lost forever.

Do I care?

Not really. And that’s something I want to blog about, why I don’t care–or, to be specific, what it is I don’t care about.

Oh, wait! I just went back a mere six months and lookie what I found:  http://janegassner.com/2017/08/the-good-old-days/ . This is what I said before that feels very familiar–to quote myself back at the beginning of this post.  So read that, and add it to this–and then we’ll see if I’m any better at fulfilling my urge this time.

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