I’m sitting here contemplating my pyrographic habit. (No, no, no, pyrography. I know it looks like another word, but . . . oh, just click here to find out what it is, or here to see way better art than I can do, and here if you want to try it for yourself.) I’m not a very good artist, but wood is a wonderful medium and I enjoy it. In fact, it’s my second-favorite art hobby, and gets less eyebrow-raising than plastic bricks (even if it means I get invited to display at the National Air & Space Museum multiple times; yes, that’s me making a cameo in that article). [EDIT: the article on the other side of that last link no longer quotes me or talks about Lego, but still shows my space shuttle display in the picture.)

Hmm. I might have gone overbudget on links there.

Anyway, I tend to stress about what I work on sometimes. It doesn’t come out perfectly. I don’t have the steadiest hands, or the best skill. I get frustrated when comparing myself to other pyrographers, or even my friends who (while working in more traditional mediums) still outshine me effortlessly. I woke up today feeling discouraged about my talents.

And then, I managed to drag myself out of it. 

G. K. Chesterton wrote that if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly. What does that mean? Should I not practice? Should I be satisfied with less skill? Not at all.

It simply means that if a thing is worth doing, then it is worth doing no matter your skill level. The important things in life are worth doing even if you suck at them. When Chesterton wrote that, he was talking about motherhood; you’ve probably heard the adoption commercials that say “You don’t have to be a perfect parent to be a perfect parent.” It’s the exact same sentiment, but Chesterton’s phrase can apply to anything.

If what you do is worth doing, then it doesn’t matter how badly you do it. It’s worth trying anyway. It’s worth doing anyway.

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So I might not be the greatest artist, but my art’s worth is not measured in how successful I am. My art is worth doing because it is my art.

So you, dear reader . . . if you feel discouraged about your own art, no matter the medium — and I expect the majority of you to be writers — don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t tell your story as well as it sounds in your head. Don’t worry about rejections. Don’t be concerned if all you can draw are stick figures (hey, certain people make money off their stick figures).

If what you do is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.