Sunday, August 22, 2010

Learned it at 14, took until now to put it in practice

  My first paying job was as a camp staff member at Boy Scout Camp Rota-Kiwan. I was 14 years old, and had the merit badges for basketry, woodcarving, and leatherwork, but I needed to know more than the other guys to be able to teach them anything.
  The manager at the local Tandy Leather shop gave me lessons, and I loved them. But... I used to get aggravated when he would make me stop just when it seemed like I was getting the hang of a new technique.
  He would smile and say, "You reached the limit of what you can absorb. We'll start from here next week."
  That would piss me off to no end. I was just getting started!
  Now I know what he meant. He was right for several reason: 1) He knew I would rush, in my excitement to play with the new skill; 2) I would get frustrated quickly when rushing made me make mistakes; 3) my brain needed the break to integrate the skill.
   The same lesson applies to editing my manuscripts. Fifty pages is about all I can handle in one sitting. After that, I get carried away with the story and miss typos, or my attention wavers and I miss a detail that needs to be clarified.
So, although I'd love to plough forward until the wee hours of the morning (it's been 2 years since I last glanced at Storm Clouds Over Sexton), I'm going to stop...for the night.

No comments: