When you’re a dabbler, growth in one’s creative skills can sometimes be hard to see. I remain eternally envious of Car’s journaling skills, when my own journal pages remain amateurish and fail to live up to the vision I start with.

The difference – she journals daily. I pick mine up once or twice a quarter. Of course she’s going to grow and improve orders of magnitude beyond my own mediocre skills. I’ll do a page, get frustrated, put it aside, move onto a different project.

Even as I circle back to other abandoned hobbies, though, it’s more a spiral than a closed ring. As a child I could knit simple scarfs. Revisiting knitting as an adult I could learn to cable and knit in the round with a toddler’s Milo vest. Then I tried socks, The next go around, I felt brave enough to attempt an adult garment. Most recently, I’ve been doing lacework – a skill which would have once been unthinkable.

This month, I’m hovering around the edges of a month line writing challenge – NaNoWriMo. It’s a solid decade since I wrote with any regularity, and yet revisiting those skills, I can see how I’ve improved. Writing for my blog, writing insta captions, learning a different style of word usage for the podcast, all these other writing outlets have helped me refine my voice for fiction writing.

When it’s incremental, spread across multiple hobbies, it can be hard to see progress. Last week as we came to the end of blogtober, one of the lovely visitors to my personal blog went for a deep dive, and found the very first quilt I’d blogged. It was so fun to compare it to my most recent quilt – the style was completely different, the quilting was heads and shoulders above the other, even the photography was a million times better.

As I start the deep dive into a totally new-to-me hobby – yarn spinning – I need to remember that any skill is a process. Growth comes with practice. And even if it’s slow, slower than I would like, forward is forward.

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