I first heard “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape” in a quilting workshop. It instantly became my mantra. I find it useful in the sewing room, of course, but also on the road (there are quite a few idiots alive today because I did not give in to road rage).
As an artist, I must be flexible if my first plan is more ambitious than my training. If I have a deadline, then I have to come up with a different approach to the work. If I’m not, then I get to learn a new skill. Either way, if the project is going to be completed I need to find a work-around. That’s why artists often work in series.
As a writer, I need to be flexible enough to take advantage of a new line of thought. No matter how short or long the piece, sometimes the beginning isn’t quite right once you finally get to the end. That’s why the best writers are re-writers.
Then there’s the experience of daily life, where things you’ve always done one way just won’t work anymore. Maybe you learned something new, maybe you changed, maybe the world changed and you have to catch up. Whatever the reason, sometimes you have to be flexible – or spend a lot of time fighting. On those days when I’m feeling cranky enough to start a war to get my own way, when I don’t want to be flexible, I remember my good friend Lorna Tobler’s advice: “Pick the hill you want to die on.”
Luck and wisdom!