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A Fear of Messing Up

Maybe this is something that I shouldn’t admit to. Sometimes showing signs of weakness, especially in the realm of my creative endeavors, makes me think that others will think less of me, in a way. But here I am.

I often have a hard time starting new projects of my own design. I fear taking the risk. Which is odd because, back when I was in college, I always took creative risks. It happened, on more than one occasion, that when I took risks and just jumped into the creative pool, I’d do my best work. Not always but a good bit of the time. I guess I’ve gotten into the habit of talking myself out of taking creative risks because I don’t want to waste time, money, or materials. Or maybe it’s mostly because I don’t want to mess up. But how do you grow and learn new skills if not by trying something new? I’ve (slowly) been working on my own bag designs. It’s taken a lot of pep talks with the hubby and pushing myself to get me to a point where I’m ok with possibly wasting materials to come up with my own designs. I’m putting the finishing touches on one and drawing up designs for my next. I’m a perfectionist…which is both good and bad. I’m one of those weird people that can’t write notes or highlight favorite parts in books. Even books that are meant to be written in. I’ve always got an extra blank notebook on hand. And although this may not seem directly related to me not wanting to waste fabric to come up with bag designs, all of my tendencies seem to meld together. Which is why I bought myself Wreck This Journal.

I’m trying to push myself in the right direction by not letting go of my perfectionism but by learning to control it. I’ve heard that one of the first few steps is to crack the spine of the book. Crack. The. Spine. I can’t bring myself to write in a book with pencil (which gives me the option to erase it if I want). How am I going to crack the spine of a book? In any case, I’m hoping this helps to break me of the habit of talking myself out of undertaking new crafting endeavors. That I would begin to take risks again. That I would make mistakes to learn and perfect my craft. And maybe even stumble upon some happy accidents. The introduction to the book really does inspire me to move, to change, to try different things.

“To create is to destroy. Life is about getting up out of your chair and doing something. It is about doing nothing. Making a mess. Moving your hand and your body. Leaving a mark. It is about doing. Action. Finishing. Experimenting. Trying something. Immersing. It is about absurdity. A creation. Evidence that you exist. Using materials. Destruction. It is about fun. Doing the opposite. Breaking the rules. It is about ideas. Getting dirty. Making mistakes. I’m going to ask you to make a mark and it’s going to be messy. Don’t worry about that. That’s the point.”

And yes, that’s the point. I want to and need to create but without feeling inhibited.

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5 responses »

  1. I think you and I are gonna talk for hours on the beach next week – in between baby watching and sand castle building 🙂

    Reply
  2. I totally understand where you are coming from. Our own perfectionism can keep us from starting something until we can do it exactly how we want it to be. Well life can’t always be perfect and it won’t be either. A little phrase I learned from my Creative Memories business and pass onto my customers is “done is better than perfect”. Having 3 kids has helped me to not dwell on everything being exactly how I would like them. I’ve learned to be flexible and to not have too high of expectations. I think it is great that you are using your creativity in creating unique bags of your own. It takes time, trial and error and did I say time? Good luck to you Jill. I’d love to see what you are creating.

    Reply
    • A friend of mine actually shared this with me today after reading my post: The Creative Gap.

      It’s pretty much in line with what you’re saying. I absolutely have to frame this and keep it in my sewing area to constantly remind myself that it’s only with trying and time that I’ll get better and get to where I want to be. I’m putting the finishing touches on a bag design I came up with and am drawing up some designs for more bags. I’m hoping to get it all up here soon! 🙂 Thanks for reading and for your support! It’s much appreciated. Especially in the beginning when I don’t think too many people are interested in what I’m doing.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: When You’re Just Trying to Keep it Simple « It's a Hoot!

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