Okay, I'm sure someone told me this. But I didn't believe them. (I wasn't the most open-minded person when I was younger.)
It's true though. A couple of examples:
1. My husband is going back to school to finish his degree. He had three years of college and then took a break to play in a local band. To some people, the three to four years he spent out of college might be considered wasted time. But he's coming back to it with an energy and a focus that he didn't have before.
Because of the things he learned and the growing he did in the last few years, he's happier going back to school then he was the few semesters before he left. (And I'm terribly proud of him, in case you couldn't tell)
2. I'm rewriting my polished book. At least I thought it was polished. And when I started to see the problems I still had to fix I was frustrated.
"This is going to take forever," I thought to myself. "I want to get this manuscript back out to agents. And what if I rewrite it and no one wants it anyway?"
But I buckled down and started. And you know what? I've learned more about writing in the last few weeks than I ever expected. Even if this book doesn't go anywhere, my writing quality has improved immensely. Was it wasted time? Not in the least.
I read somewhere that it takes about 10,000 hours for someone to become a master at their craft. So every hour I write/rewrite is another hour closer to mastery. Even if it doesn't bring an immediate return.
So how about you? Do you have any "wasted time"that turned out to be valuable?