I have always loved to read. I remember the joy of learning to read. I remember the librarian at my small Indiana town’s library letting me check out as many books as I could carry; I was not limited to the standard 10. When I harbored dreams of writing some kind of book, I read even more. You have to read good stuff to write good stuff, right?
And then I started knitting. That was my gateway craft. Crochet followed not too long afterward–once I found a left-handed teacher. From there I discovered the fun of acrylic image transfers, then working with resin, then basic jewelry skills, then polymer clay and then and then and then … The one thing I haven’t tried to tackle, or the dream I’ve abandoned, is using a sewing machine. And, after years of wanting to sew, I’ve given up that dream.
Combine my love of books with my dabbling in jewelry making, painting, collaging and more, and my shelves are bursting. I have books about creating time for art. I have books about techniques. I have books I bet I don’t even know I have.
All that crafting cut into reading time, which in turn led me to an appreciation for audio books that I never knew I had. Still, books like shiny bead, call to me and both are stockpiled for a rainy day or the time when I win the lottery and have way more free time than I do now.
And so, while driving to work one day last week, I was thinking about the books languishing on my shelves. And I wanted some kind of way to track them, to know if I really need them or if it’s time to help some of them find a new home, one full of love and appreciation for what that title has to offer.
So begins my attempt to give a week or two to each book. Maybe I’ll try some projects. Maybe I’ll see what advice I can adopt. As I see it, it’s a way to learn new things, maybe weed out my collection, maybe say goodbye to other craft dreams and, most appealing of all, have blog topics that don’t really focus on me.
While I have no intention of going through my books category by category, I do think that Kim Piper Werker’s Mighty Ugly is a great place to start.
It has been on my to-read list for ages. And while I find myself pretty productive, I do plenty of battle with the demons of self-doubt and fear of failure. Because I know that for anyone who makes anything, or, really, is alive, we’re all dealing with self-doubt, perfectionism, creative block, procrastination and fear of failure.
I like that way that she recommends Ted(x) talks, includes inspiring bits of insight and presents readers with real-life examples from makers and crafters. Maybe what I’m most responding to is seeing myself in the her words and others. Or, better said, it’s the knowing that I really am not alone and that dealing with these demons is universal. I can sit around and worry that I’m a fraud, or I can keep on keeping on, making things to the best of my ability and understanding that my stuff will appeal to some and not to others. Wait, is it even about what others think? No, I think it’s about scratching that creative itch. If I approach it each time with honesty, that’s all I can do
I can see that I’ll need to revisit this book, may often, and know that there won’t be a quick fix.
So far I’ve only finished the first part. At the beginning of part 2, there’s an assignment to make a collage. The goal is show that collage next week and perhaps some other projects.
I’d love to know what kind of experiences others have had dealing with the demons that keep you from creating. Which one gives you the most trouble? How do you break through? Where do you turn for advice or wisdom for upping your creativity?
OK, I think I should go tackle that collage. And, go grumble to myself about how despite my hopes, this is too much about me.